Minneapolis to release bodycam video in fatal shooting

The scene at 36th St. and Cedar Ave. S. after a man was shot and killed by Minneapolis Police Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Minneapolis. Police in Minneapolis shot and killed a man during a traffic stop on the city’s south side Wednesday night. Department spokesman John Elder said the incident happened about 6:15 p.m. while officers were carrying out a traffic stop with a man suspected of a felony. (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)

By DOUG GLASS
The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Police in Minneapolis said they would release body camera video on Thursday from a traffic stop that ended with a man shot dead, the city’s first police-involved death since George Floyd died while being restrained by officers in May.

Police said the man was a suspect in a felony and that he died in an exchange of gunfire Wednesday on the city’s south side. Chief Medaria Arradondo said witnesses said the man fired first. He said the officers’ body cameras were turned on and promised to release the video on Thursday, even as a state-led investigation proceeds.

The shooting stirred anxiety about renewed protests, seven months after unrest following Floyd’s death. The latest shooting happened about a mile from where Floyd died while being restrained by officers.

“I want our communities to see that so they can see for themselves,” he said. Until then, Arradondo said, “Please allow me, the (state) investigators, allow us the time, let us get the evidence, get the facts, so we can process this.”

Police spokesman John Elder said the incident happened about 6:15 p.m. at a Holiday gas station as officers were carrying out a traffic stop. Police did not provide details of the supposed felony nor release any information about the man, including his race.

Elder said medical personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene. A woman in the car was unhurt, Elder said. He declined to say whether police recovered a gun at the site of the shooting.

Elder said no officers were hurt. He said he didn’t know how many officers were at the scene carrying out the traffic stop or how many were involved in the shooting.

The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is handling an investigation.

Dozens of people gathered at the scene in the hours after the shooting, including some who interrupted Elder and sharply questioned him as he delivered a media briefing.

Arradondo said the traffic stop was carried out by members of a police community response team — longstanding units that respond to situations such as drug investigations and gun crime. He said he did not have additional details on why the man was sought.

The shooting happened less than a mile from the street corner where Floyd, a Black man, died in May after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for minutes, even as Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death sparked days of sometimes violent protest that spread around the country and resonated worldwide.