Many Whites believe the officers’ fear of being lured into an ambush is legitimate because they would process it the same way.
The full body photos taken of Minneapolis Police officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly right after the killing of Thurman Blevins, appearing in the July 31 Star Tribune, are hard to look at. They look more like mug shots.
On August 3, the Justice for June Committee held a news conference at the Minneapolis City Hall Rotunda, citing the officers’ complaint history and their aggressive behavior on the call as reasons why they should be terminated. The committee pointed to the Blevins shooting as part of a bigger cultural problem within the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). They are calling on a third-party investigation.
“You have justified police murder since you’ve been in office Mike Freeman,” she said while commandeering the conference alongside Blevins’ family and community members.
The video, released Sunday night, starts with the officers approaching Blevins, who is seen sitting on a curb with a woman and child. “He’s got a bottle of gin,” one officer can be heard saying. Then an officer says, “He’s got a gun!” and the officers get out of the car and order Blevins to put his hands up.
In spite of the group’s deadline, Frey released a statement shortly after the news conference that said, “At this point, I can say with confidence that the video footage will be released by the end of July.”
There has been much written and talked about regarding this tragedy. And then, as if nothing happened, silence has descended with the sentiment to “let’s just all move on.” How is that possible for his loved ones?
Bob Kroll, on Facebook, tried to detract from Blevins’ killing by saying people should be more concerned about Black people killed by citizens. Why can’t we be concerned about both? This is not a new tactic, but a particularly heinous one considering that Blevins has not even been buried yet.
You want to talk bias? What in the hell does this have to do with his being riddled with bullets? Journalistic justification after the fact?
There is uneasy discomfort among observers of the political pressure and mixed signals surrounding the leadership of the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) in general. And, in particular, whether Chief Medaria Arradondo will be appointed to the permanent rank of Chief of the MPD, beginning in January 2019.