Minneapolis police officers who fatally shot armed man running away will not be charged

Minneapolis police officers who repeatedly warned an armed man to put his hands up before he was fatally shot in June will not be charged, it was announced Monday.

Thurman Blevins, who was 31, took off running as a police officer said, "he's got a gun!" As they pursued him, they yelled, "Stop, stop! Put your hands up! I will (expletive) shoot you!"

Officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly were responding to a 911 call of a man firing a gun into the air on June 23. Body-camera video released Sunday night shows them pulling up to Blevins, who was sitting on a curb near a woman and a child in a stroller.

During the chase, Blevins yells back, "I didn't do nothing bro," ''Please don't shoot" and "Leave me alone." He was shot multiple times after the chase turned into an alley.

A protest was planned for Tuesday afternoon at the Hennepin County Government Center.

"He didn't deserve to die," cousin Sydnee Brown told the Star Tribune. "He wasn't a threat when (the officers) approached him. They didn't view him as a human being."

However, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Monday there would be no charges against the officers.

"When Mr. Blevins fled from the officers with a loaded handgun, refused to follow their commands for him to stop and show his hands and then took the gun out of his pocket and turned toward the officers, Mr. Blevins represented a danger to the lives of Officer Schmidt and Officer Kelly," Freeman said in a statement. "Their decision to use deadly force against Mr. Blevins under those circumstances was authorized [under the law]."

Witnesses said at the time of the shooting that Blevins was holding a bottle, not a gun. He was apparently carrying both.

The video appears to show a handgun in his hand moments before he was shot.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey had said that the body camera video would be released after the Blevins family was consulted, and after key witnesses were questioned.

"I know that right now in our city there's a lot of pain," Frey said. "Pain in many cases that I cannot understand."

Loved ones had called for both officers to face criminal charges.

There have been several high-profile fatal police shootings in recent years in Minneapolis. Jamar Clark, 24, was shot in 2015, and 40-year-old Justine Damond was killed last year. A trial is on tap for the officer who shot Damond.

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