The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) confirmed a fatal officer-involved shooting of a man Saturday, June 23 in North Minneapolis.
According to the MPD account, police officers responded to 911 reports that an adult male was shooting a handgun into the air and ground on the 4700 block of Bryant Avenue North. A foot chase ensued when the officers encountered the suspect. The suspect was eventually shot by police and pronounced dead on the scene. Some witnesses on the scene dispute the police account that the suspect had a gun.
Relatives have identified the man as 31-year-old Thurman Blevins, according to reports. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called in to handle the investigation, which is standard protocol for officer-involved shootings.
Both Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arrondondo and Mayor Jacob Frey met with members of the media following the shooting. Mayor Frey released a statement confirming that the police body cameras were on and activated at the time of the incident.
Community reaction was swift as news of the shooting spread. NAACP Minneapolis released a statement calling for full transparency and the release of police body cam footage.
A crowd of 75-100 people had gathered on 48th and Camden in the aftermath of the shooting. Community members said they plan to protest Sunday at 3 pm at the Fourth Precinct, with a vigil to follow at 7 pm on 48th and Camden.
The shooting comes on the heels of community outrage over recent reports highlighting questionable conduct and practices of the MPD. Last week, the Star Tribune reported that from 2015 to 2017 MPD officers had been urging EMS responders to use ketamine to sedate suspects.
Also, a recent report by the Hennepin County public defender’s office showed that sting operations for low-level marijuana charges resulted in disproportionate arrests of Black people. The report prompted Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to request that the MPD end low-level marijuana stings.
UPDATE: Mayor Frey announced that he would forgo marching in the Pride Parade in order to devote his full attention to the shooting investigation.
The MSR will continue to update this story as it develops.