Two Minneapolis police officers will not face charges for the fatal shooting of a 31-year-old black man in June, the county's attorney announced Monday, amid protests.
"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 presented a danger to the lives of Officer Schmidt and Officer Kelly," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement on Monday.
Freeman was interrupted by protesters during his announcement, who shouted, "It was murder!"
At one point an unidentified man took the podium after Freeman hastily left, saying, "We're here looking for justice and we're tired of watching these snuff movies by the Minneapolis Police Department."
Bodycam footage of the incident was released Sunday from cameras worn by both officers, identified as Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt.
The officers were originally responding to a 911 call on June 23 about a man with a gun who was firing into the air. When the two police officers approached the man, who was identified as Thurman Blevins, he ran, and the officers chased after him.
"He's got a gun!" one officer said as Blevins began to flee. "Put your hands up! I will fucking shoot you!" an officer can be heard shouting as they continue to chase Blevins.
Blevins then ran down an alley where he could be heard shouting, "Please don't shoot me" and "Leave me alone."
The video, which had been slowed down at certain segments, shows what appears to be a gun in Blevins' right hand, immediately before the police officers open fire.
One video was released in its entirety and the other videos were "stabilized and analyzed" by the National Center for Audio and Video Forensics in Beverly Hills, California.
After the bodycam footage was released Sunday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said, "Regardless of the facts and circumstances that took place on the afternoon of June 23 ... let us all recognize one conclusion: A life was lost, and that, in and of itself, is a tragedy."
Frey added, "I did not experience the pain of inequities that continue to exist in areas well beyond policing and public safety. But we all need to understand that this pain is felt acutely by people of color. That must be acknowledged."
Both officers Kelly and Schmidt served in the military and had been in the police force since 2013 and 2014, respectively, according to personnel files reviewed by the Associated Press.
Fatal shootings in Minneapolis by police in the last few years have angered many in the community and have raised questions about the department's use of deadly force.
In July 2017 an Australian woman who taught yoga and meditation was fatally shot by a police officer who did not have his body camera turned on. In June of that same year, Philando Castile was shot by a Minnesota police officer as his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, recorded the incident on Facebook Live. Widespread protests erupted across Minneapolis in 2015 after Jamar Clark was shot and killed after officers were called to his house for a report of an assault.