A Police Officer Killed a 31-year-old Man in North Minneapolis
MINNESOTA — June 27, 2018
A black man, Thurman Blevins Jr., who was known to his neighbors as “Jun,” died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” according to a police report.
It happened when Blevins's neighbors heard shots and called 911. A gun was later recovered from the scene. Police say that the shooting was captured by body-cam footage, but despite calls from local politicians to release the tape, they haven’t done so yet.
The police arrested one of the suspected attackers, who was an officer from the City Police Department but quickly released him without charge.
According to witness Robert Lang, Blevins did indeed have a gun on him. He added that he heard cops yelling “Drop the gun!” Lang came out from behind his garage and saw the cops kick a gun that was lying on the ground away from Blevins.
Robert Lang, who lives near where Blevins was shot, said he heard cops yelling “Drop the gun!” Lang came out from behind his garage and saw the cops kick a gun that was lying on the ground away from Blevins.
“They pulled up on him, him and his woman and a newborn baby, and they told him, ‘Don’t fucking move,’ something about a gun,” a person at the scene of Blevins’ death told Unicorn Riot, a media collective that has roots in Minneapolis. “And dude stood up, and his hands up. Next thing I know I hear a pop sound. I don’t know whether they shot, somebody said they tased him, but I thought they shot him and he broke out running. That’s when I heard eight, nine, ten more shots. And it was over with in about a minute and half, two minutes.”
Other witnesses said that Blevins was running down the street the moment as police shot him in the back. Another suggested the police might have planted a gun on him after he was killed.
"They killed him for no reason, and he only carried a bottle or cup when they racist Police shot him in the back. Newsflash the man was armed and the 911 calls say he was firing a handgun into the air and ground. I think it's time to give black communities their wish and let them police themselves. Let them have their own businesses in their communities and support their own and wait how long it takes before they destroy everything." YouTube user Nadezhada L remarked about the video.
Later about 300 people staged a rally near the police station to protest Blevins’ death. Also a vigil was held near the site where Blevins was killed. Mayor Jacob Frey was in attendance.
“At the end of the day, we know that no matter what transpired in the moments leading up to the shooting, we know with certainty that the outcome is a tragedy," Frey said in a statement.
Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison and son of Rep. Keith Ellison is calling on the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to conduct a full and transparent investigation of case.