Police in Minneapolis shot dead a man on Wednesday night during a traffic stop on the south side of the city, authorities said.
John Elder, a police spokesman, said the incident took place around 6.15pm while officers were making a stop with a man suspected of a crime.
Elder said the man was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel. A woman in the car was unharmed, Elder said. He would not say whether police found a gun at the scene.
Elder said no officers were injured. He said he did not know how many officers carried out the traffic stop. The officers’ body cameras were on.
Police chief Medaria Arradondo said witnesses said the man shot first. He promised to release the video from police cameras on Thursday.
“I want our communities to see it so they can see for themselves,” he said. Until then, Arradondo said, “Allow me, the (state) investigators, the time, let’s get the evidence, get the facts so we can process it.”
The State Bureau of Criminal Detention was called in to handle the investigation.
The shooting took place less than a mile from the street corner where George Floyd died in May after a Minneapolis official pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for minutes, even though Floyd pleaded unable to breathe. It sometimes sparked violent protests that spread across the country and turned Black Lives Matter into an international cause.
In the aftermath of the shooting Wednesday night, videos posted on social media by a Star Tribune reporter showed how a crowd of protesters sang the police and officers in riot gear.
Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement late Wednesday that he was working with Arradondo for information on the shooting and promised to retrieve it as soon as possible in conjunction with the state investigation.
“Events of the past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city,” Frey said. “We know that a life is cut short and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile … We must all commit to obtaining the facts, pursuing justice and maintaining peace.”
In Minneapolis, Floyd’s death led to pressure for radical change in the police department, which has long been criticized by activists for a cruel culture that resisted change. A pressure from some city councilors to replace the department with a new public safety unit failed this summer.
Frey and Arradondo, who opposed the removal of the department, have proposed several policy changes since Floyd’s death, including restricting the use of so-called no-knock warrants, reviewing the use of force and requiring that officers should report on their efforts to calm situations.
All four officers involved in Floyd’s death were fired and quickly charged in his death. They are scheduled for trial in March.
With the Associated Press