Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will order the release of body camera footage as soon as possible in wake of the officer-involved shooting that killed Thurman Blevins in north Minneapolis on Sunday.
In a statement released Tuesday night, Mayor Frey said "transparency and accountability are of the highest priority" for himself and Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo.
"Real transparency does not allow for unnecessary delay before information is released," Frey said in the statement. "It means full and thoughtful disclosure of information, and an unwavering commitment to fairness and justice."
Blevins, 31, was shot and killed by police officers on Sunday evening after officers responded to reports of an adult male firing a handgun into the air and ground near the 4700 block of Bryant Ave. N.
Officers pursued Blevins on foot, eventually discharging their weapons in the fatal shooting.
Frey's statement continued:
“State law gives authority to law enforcement entities, within certain parameters, to determine when evidence – including body camera footage – is released.
“The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD), under the leadership of Chief Arradondo, is the law enforcement entity within the city, and the MPD reports to me.
“The desire for a transparent process must always be balanced with the need for a complete and fair investigation.
“To that end, I have decided to release the body camera footage."
But before body camera footage is released, Mayor Frey says two things have to happen first:
- The family of Thurman Blevins must be consulted.
- The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension needs to finish interviewing witnesses.
“To ensure the integrity of the investigation, which we have asked the BCA to conduct, it is essential that known key witnesses first be interviewed," Frey said. "That process has already begun, and I trust that it will be done in the near future."
Frey's statement comes less than 24 hours after 13 Minneapolis city councilors recommended that body camera video be released as soon as possible.