The family of Thurman Blevins believes police officers got away with murder. Blevins was shot and killed by two White officers, Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly, on June 23.
Authorities recently released body-cam footage of the incident which showed Blevins running away from the officers. Blevins also had a gun. Schmidt and Kelly opened fire and shot at Blevins 14 times, he died at the scene. Only 40 seconds elapsed between the time the officers reported seeing a gun and opening fire,” according to Minneapolis Public Radio. Prosecutors revealed that Schmidt and Kelly would not be charged for the shooting.
During a scheduled press conference with Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Blevins’ relatives spoke at the podium and shared their thoughts on the case. Blevins’ cousin, Sydnee Brown, argued that Thurman was scared of officers who threatened to shoot him before opening fire, according to Star Tribune.
“You killed a man in his community,” Brown said during the press conference. “The only Black community that we have left. They’re trying to push us out. He was forced to run away from his family so they wouldn’t shoot him down in his own community. He was forced to run away from his family so they wouldn’t shoot him down in his own community in front of his kid.”
The shooting of Blevins comes two years after Philando Castile was shot and killed by police officer Jeronimo Yanez. Yanez was acquitted of second-degree manslaughter. The fallout from Castile and the recent shooting of Blevins have caused the Twin Cities to explode. Over the past three days, there have been several protests in downtown Minneapolis.
Blevins’ family has called for an independent investigation.