Minneapolis protests erupt as police shoot and kill man just one mile from where George Floyd died

Minneapolis protests erupt as police shoot and kill man just one mile from where George Floyd died

December 31, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS police fatally shot a man on Wednesday night – less than a mile from where George Floyd died in police custody in May. 

The man died in an apparent shootout with cops, according to Chief Medaria Arradondo, who said body footage of the encounter will be released on Thursday.

Around 6.15pm on Wednesday, cops were conducting a traffic stop with a man suspected of a felony.

The department didn’t release any information on the supposed felony or any other information about the man, including his race. 

The unidentified man was pronounced dead at the gas station where the shooting took place, and a woman who was inside his vehicle was not injured, police said. 

Less than a mile away from where the man was killed on Wednesday was where Floyd died earlier this year after former cop Derek Chauvin kneeled on the back of his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe, and died while being pinned to the ground after he was arrested after being accused of trying to use a $20 bill at a nearby deli.

Arradondo – who said witnesses claimed that suspect fired at cops first – said he’d release the body camera footage, as he wants “our communities to see that so they can see for themselves.”

“Please allow me, the (state) investigators, allow us the time, let us get the evidence, get the facts, so we can process this.”

A spokesperson for Minneapolis police didn’t say whether a gun was recovered from the gas station shooting scene, but did say that no officers were injured.

John Elder said he wasn’t sure how many officers carried out the traffic stop, or how many were involved in the man’s shooting on Wednesday night. 

Arradondo, however, said the traffic stop was carried out by members of a police community response team – longstanding units that respond to things like drug investigations and gun crime. 

Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is handling an investigation of what happened. 

After the shooting, dozens of people gathered at the scene – some of whom interrupted Elder as he addressed the press about what happened. 

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement on Wednesday he was working with Arradondo for information on the shooting and pledged to get it out as quickly as possible in coordination with the state investigation.

“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city,” Frey said.

“We know a life has been cut short and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile.

"We must all be committed to getting the facts, pursuing justice, and keeping the peace," the mayor said.

Earlier this month, the Minneapolis City Council voted to defund the local police department budget by $7.7million – despite a massive crime spike.

The move passed by the local Minnesota leaders will allocate the funds to mental health crisis teams, train dispatchers to assess mental health calls, and other employees handle theft and property damage reports.

However, despite the cut, the move does not change the number of police officers who will work in 2021, as the city still plans on hiring more officers in the future.

The city expects a monthly average of 770 police officers will work in 2021, if the council agrees to release funding for some recruit classes.

Instead, the move by the City Council avoids a political showdown with Frey.

The City Council had initially planned to drop the force's size to 750 officers starting in 2022, however they backtracked on that plan.

Frey, who looked to keep the current target level of 888, had previously said he was considering vetoing the budget because he was concerned about "the massive permanent cut to officer capacity" in the future.

Frey praised the City Council's defunding and their decision to not change the department's force size.

Arradondo has said the department has lost 166 officers, because they either resigned or decided to leave the force.

Floyd’s death in May sparked protests and riots across the US during the summer, causing billions of dollars in damage in major cities.

Back in June, the city of Minneapolis said the looting and property damage had caused at least $55million in destruction.

All four officers involved in Floyd’s death were fired and quickly charged in his death. They are scheduled for trial in March.

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