The Minneapolis Police Department on Wednesday tweeted a graphic video showing a man fatally shooting himself on Nicollet Mall, with police now saying the video was released in an effort to "dispel rumors" about what happened.
The man, who police say was wanted in connection to a homicide that happened earlier in a Minneapolis parking ramp, killed himself around 6 p.m. while police were nearing.
But after the man's suicide, misinformation suggesting police were involved in his death spread on social media, prompting crowds and clashes downtown, which led to a citywide curfew, the Minnesota National Guard being called in, property damage and dozens of arrests.
In an effort to dispel the rumors about what happened, the Minneapolis Police Department released a video on social media of the suspect, a Black man, appearing to kill himself.
The decision to post the video garnered criticism, with some people saying the police department should show the same transparency when officers do something wrong. (According to some tweets, the video was city surveillance video, so it doesn't fall under the same rules as police videos.)
After the police department tweeted Thursday morning its explanation of why it shared the video, some people defended the department's decision, saying posting the video was the right thing to do amid the circumstances, and people agreed with the decision to take down the video now that rumors are no longer circulating about the incident.
Note: Some of the details provided in this story are based on the police's latest version of events, and may be subject to change.