Bob Kroll

© TNS-USA Today Images

MPD union leader wants quick release of body cam video of shooting

BCA reports a gun was found at scene of Saturday's confrontation

June 25, 2018 - 5:36 am

The head of the Minneapolis police union has one opinion about the release of body camera video from Saturday's officer-involved shooting.

"The sooner the better," he said. "All of it."

Lt. Bob Kroll said that video will show the two officers acted heroically, and appropriately when 31-year-old Thurman Blevins was shot and killed in a north Minneapolis neighborhood.

"The cops are not getting enough credit for this one," he said. "They did everything that was asked of them."

There are people who say they saw the entire incident, and claim Blevins did not have a gun, and that he was shot while running away from police. 

"I didn't see no gun," said James Lark. "Him running, that may not have been right. But to shoot that man that many times is unjustifiable."

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been investigating since they were called to the scene by the MPD on Saturday. In their first official statement, the agency said a silver-and-black handgun was found at the scene.

They also repeated what Minneapolis police stated on Saturday, that officers responded to the area of 46th and Lyndale Avenues following two 911 calls about a man firing a handgun into the air and ground.

The BCA said the officers found the man sitting on a curb with a woman, and that he fled on foot carrying a gun. The shooting happened, according to the BCA, after police chased the man for several blocks, with both officers opening fire.

While the officers' body cameras were operational, the shooting was not captured by the dashboard camera in their MPD squad car. 

The officers have not talked with BCA investigators, who'll release their names once those interviews are complete. The officers are on standard administrative leave, and will be allowed to see the body cam video before talking to the BCA either Monday or Tuesday, said Kroll.

There are reports that Blevins' family members will get a chance to see the video before its public release.

Officials with the BCA said they'll turn over findings of the investigation without recommendation to the Hennepin County attorney's office for review.