No charges for officers who killed Brooklyn Center man with Autism; mother 'appalled' by decision

The 21-year-old was shot dead on Aug. 31, 2019.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Screen Shot 2020-08-05 at 3.32.32 PM

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has said no charges will be brought against two police officers who fatally shot a young man in Brooklyn Center last year.

Freeman said the officers involved in the shooting of Kobe Dimock-Heisler, 21, on Aug. 31, 2019, was justified as the officers "had a reasonable fear" that they and two other officers "were in danger of death or great bodily harm."

The attorney says an investigation found that Dimock-Heisler was in possession of a knife and "attempted to stab one of the officers," after police were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance involving the 21-year-old, who was on the Autism spectrum, and his grandparents who had raised him.

Video released as part of the decision showed a chaotic scene inside his grandparents' house, and the moment two officers opened fire, striking Dimock-Heisler six times.

But Dimock-Heisler's mother said she was "appalled" by the decision, and has called for an independent investigation into the incident.

What did the report say happened?

Per the Hennepin County Attorney and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension report, the incident had started at a Wendy's Restaurant, where Dimock-Heisler grew angry that staff had gotten his order wrong.

He argued with his grandfather, and the argument continued when they got home, with Dimock-Heisler grabbing a kitchen knife and a hammer.

His grandfather called 911 as he was scared, but as police arrived he came out of the house and "told them the situation had calmed down."

Officers Cody Turner and Brandon Akers however said they were required to go into the house to assess the situation.

Another officer, Joseph Vu, at the scene spoke to Dimock-Heisler, who began to cry only to "suddenly" spring up and run toward his grandmother.

Turner used his Taser as the four officers attempted to stop the Dimock-Heisler, but it had "no effect," with Akers and a fourth officer, Stephen Holt, also discharging their Tasers.

Dimock-Heisler was able to reach the couch and allegedly retrieved another knife that was "hidden there," and attempted to stab Vu.

Strangled cries of "knife! knife!" from one of the officers are heard just moments before Turner and Akers open fire.

Here's bodycam footage of the moment he was shot. Warning: Upsetting content.

Mother calls for independent investigation

At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Dimock-Heisler's mother, Amity Dimock, called the decision by Freeman not to charge the officers "appalling."

She accused Freeman's report of containing multiple "bald-face lies ... that does not portray what happened."

"To me, he was just trying to get away from the police," she said, re-iterating that the family had asked them not to intervene as they had already de-escalated the situation.

"This is murder," she continued, accusing both Freeman and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension of "always covering" for police.

She continued to demand an independent investigation into her son's death.

Freeman had this to say on Wednesday: "We are saddened by the death of Mr. Dimock-Heisler and we have extended our sympathies to his grandfather and grandmother who have raised him since age 6.

"However, the four Brooklyn Center police officers who initially responded to the scene used de-escalation tactics and seemed to have calmed down Mr. Dimock-Heisler. Even when he sprang from his chair, grabbed a knife and attempted to stab one of the officers, three officers fired their Tasers, with no effect. Then, and only then, did they fire their guns."

Next Up

Related