Viewer discretion: St. Paul police release body cam video of fatal police shooting

Chief Todd Axtell says he released the video for transparency.

Sloane Martin
September 24, 2019 - 2:25 pm
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St Paul Police have released body cam video of a fatal police shooting in the city's Midway neighborhood.

31-year-old Ronald Davis and Officer Steven Mattson, who has been with the department for less than a year, both exited their cars at Thomas and Griggs after Davis rear-ended the squad car on Sunday, Sept. 15. 

The video shows the men nearly an arm’s length away as Mattson shouts at Davis to drop a knife in his right hand. 

Chief Todd Axtell said the video is hard to watch, but he released it for transparency. He also defended Mattson.

“Wearing a badge does not automatically make you wrong any more than standing in the street with a megaphone automatically makes you right," he said.

Mayor Melvin Carter voiced a similar sentiment.

"As a son of a Saint Paul police officer, as someone who's grown up praying for the safety of our city and for our police officers every single day, it's difficult for me to look at that video and tell you that there's something else, something more that I could've expected that officer to do."


The Anti-Police Brutality Coalition, a network of several local activist groups, released a statement demanding an independent investigation into the shooting, as well as the release of all related documents and any additional footage that has been collected from other sources. 

"It is unclear from the limited body camera footage that was released what types of de-escalation tactics were used by Officer Mattson, why he fell to the ground, why his flashlight fell, and whether he attempted to use nonlethal force before using deadly force against Ronald Davis. The public has a right to raise questions, to challenge policies that do not uphold the preservation of human life, and to obtain truthful and comprehensive answers to the questions being posed," the statement reads. 

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