Minneapolis, MN – Minneapolis police have released bodycam footage of the fatal officer-involved shooting of Thurman Blevins Sunday night (video below.)
Despite the video showing that the shooting was justified, Thurman’s family is demanding “justice.”
The incident happened June 23 at around 5:30 p.m. as officers were dispatched to the 4700 block of Bryant Avenue North for an intoxicated male walking around shooting a gun into the air, according to the dispatch log.
The suspect was described as a light complexion black male, with a white or grey tank top, black backpack, age 35-36, six feet tall, 180 pounds, with tapered hair, holding a bottle of gin and a can of Four Loko liquor.
“That’s very, very specific,” Officer Ryan Kelly said in the raw bodycam video.
“Yeah,” replied Officer Justin Schmidt.
After driving through the area, the officers located Blevins, 31, with tapered hair, in a black tank top, with a black backpack, carrying a bottle of gin, with a gun visibly sticking out of his pocket.
“What about this guy?” Officer Schmidt said. “He’s got a bottle of gin. Is he black tank top, tapered hair? Yeah. He’s got a gun!”
Blevins started running and the officer chased him while continually ordering him to stop.
“Stop or I’ll shoot. Stop or I’ll shoot. Stop or I’ll shoot,” Officer Kelly told him.
Blevins just responded saying things such as, “Come on, man,” and “I didn’t do nothing bro.”
“You’ve got a gun motherf—r,” Officer Schmidt said.
“No,” Blevins replied.
“Yes you do!” Officer Schmidt said, “Put it down. I will f—ing shoot you. Put your hands up!”
Blevins continued to tell officers to leave him alone as he ran from them.
Once in an alley, Blevins drew his gun and fired a shot at the officers.
Both officers responded by destroying Blevins in a hail of gunfire.
According to KSTP, Officer Schmidt’s attorney released a statement which said, “The video shows Thurman Blevins fired one shot at officers. It’s gratifying to know the actions of the officers were justified. Hopefully the public learned a lesson to wait for all the facts and video to come out before vilifying officers.”
Shortly after the shooting, the Minneapolis NAACP president had released a statement which said, “Eye witnesses stated he was killed while running away from the officers. The witnesses say that he was sitting on the curb with his girlfriend and baby. The cup that he was drinking can still be seen at the scene.”
The Blevins family was able to see the video an hour before its public release.
After seeing the video, Sydnee Brown, spokesperson for the Blevins family said, “Officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt should be fired without pay and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
You can see the video of the shooting below. This is a computer stabilized version of the video produced by the National Center for Audio & Video Forensics. If you want to see the unedited bodycam video, you can see it on the City of Minneapolis website. WARNING: Graphic Content.