There will be no charges filed in the fatal police shooting of a Minneapolis man that sparked protests across the city last month. The Minneapolis Police Department on Sunday night released body camera footage of the incident that led to the death of Thurman Blevins, a black man killed by white police officers. There had been conflicting reports as to whether the 31-year-old had a gun, but the footage shows an officer kicking away what police say is a handgun that falls to the ground after Blevins is shot, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Blevins "fled from the officers with a loaded handgun, refused to follow their commands for him to stop and show his hands, and then took the gun out of his pocket and turned toward the officers," the Hennepin County Attorney said Monday in his announcement that the officers would not be charged.
The Washington Post has background on the June 23 incident: Police were responding to reports of a man firing a gun in public when they came across Blevins, who was reportedly sitting on the curb with his girlfriend and baby, and saw that he allegedly had a gun. As they exited their patrol car and approached him, he fled; as they chased him on foot and ordered him to stop, he yelled, "Please don't shoot me. Leave me alone." He also insisted he hadn't done anything wrong and denied having a gun. The county attorney's announcement that no charges would be filed was interrupted by protesters, CBS Minnesota reports, and reaction to the video has been mixed. Per the Post, some say the officers should have done more to de-escalate the situation and accuse them of shooting Blevins in the back as he ran from them. "He didn’t deserve to die," says a cousin. (Read more police shooting stories.)