Hundreds protest after Minneapolis police fatally shoot 31-year-old man
26 June 2018
Hundreds turned out for a demonstration and a separate vigil on Sunday to express their outrage over the police murder of 31-year-old Thurman Blevins Jr. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Blevins was shot down by police in an alleyway in a hail of bullets Saturday evening, sparking spontaneous protests in the North Minneapolis neighborhood where the shooting took place.
Just after 5:30 pm Saturday, Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call about a man with a gun in a North Minneapolis neighborhood.
According to the official police account, when the officers encountered Blevins armed with a handgun he immediately turned and ran from them. Officers chased him into an alleyway and fired multiple gunshots into him; witnesses recount hearing as many as twelve shots, where he was then pronounced dead. Police say that a handgun was found at the scene.
According to multiple witnesses, however, Blevins was not armed and was shouting, “I don’t have a gun!” as he ran from the police. Numerous witnesses say that police arrived to see Blevins sitting on a curb and drinking out of a cup next to a woman, when he immediately turned and ran as officers tried to use a taser on him before cornering him and fatally shooting him. His death has been ruled a homicide.
Minneapolis’ African-American police chief Medaria Arradondo appeared at the demonstration Sunday to console family members and protesters, but he was met with demands for answers and that the bodycam footage of the shooting be released to the public.
In an attempt to cover for Arradondo, former Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy-Pounds told the crowd and Arradondo that the protest was not a “personal attack”…