Sloan Martin, WCCO Radio

Anger at police, honor for Blevins

Rally and vigil mark the day after officer-involved shooting

June 25, 2018 - 6:55 am
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Minneapolis residents upset and angry over yet another officer-involved shooting gathered in two different locations Sunday, one to express their feelings toward police, the other to grieve and remember.

A large crowd gathered at a familiar spot, the Fourth Precinct police headquarters building, for a rally against police violence. It was there in 2015 that an 11-day occupation was staged in reaction to the officer-involved shooting death of Jamar Clark.

Speakers at the rally were firm in reaction to what happened Saturday when Thurman Blevins died.

"I'm tired of feeling that we're fighting an entire system every day," said one speaker. "We're fighting against the schools, we're fighting against the medical, we're fighting against everybody out here."

Also in attendance was MPD chief Madaria Arradondo, wearing full police uniform.

"I serve the people, and it's important for me to listen and hear from them," Arradondo said.

Sunday night, several hundred gathered at the scene of the shooting, where a memorial of condolence cards, flowers, a Black Lives Matter sign, and a photo of Blevins with his young daughter.

There was also a poster that read "We will miss you."

"It doesn't matter who you is or what color you is," said a family member of Blevins to the crowd over a loudspeaker. "We people. And his heart was big."

Family members say Blevins was the father of three daughters and two stepsons. His death came not long after his half-sister died of liver problems.

Several Minneapolis council members attended the vigil. That included Mayor Jacob Frey, who had been criticized for not coming to the scene the night of the shooting.