St. Paul police releases body cam video of Ronald Davis shooting

The 31-year-old was shot dead after an altercation with an officer.
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Ronald Davis

St. Paul police have released the body cam footage showing the fatal officer-involved shooting of Ronald Davis. 

Davis was shot dead in the Midway neighborhood after an altercation with St. Paul PD Officer Steven Mattson, which came shortly after Davis had rear-ended Mattson's squad car on Sunday, Sept. 15.

The video shows Officer Mattson getting out of his squad car after he was rear-ended by Davis, and is immediately confronted by the 31-year-old from Little Canada.

The video shows Davis holding a knife in his right hand, with a chaotic scene following as the two engaged in an apparent altercation, with the officer at one point falling to the ground.

Davis is shown on more than one occasion approaching the officer at speed, who is screaming "get away from me!" and "drop the knife, drop the [expletive] knife!"

Mattson then opens fire, with a cry from Davis then heard. The video then shows him lying on the curb on the opposite side of the street from the squad car.

Here's the video, which we should warn contains upsetting scenes and language.

Police Chief Todd Axtell criticized the allegations of murder leveled against Mattson by those protesting his death, as well as cries of injustice and threats made against his life, saying "continuing to swim in a sea of lies and distorted facts will only keep us caught in the undertow of distrust."

"For more than 30 years I have built my career on a foundation of trust, truth and transparency, that's not to say that I or anybody else in this department is perfect by any stretch of the imagination," said St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell.

"When we have made mistakes, St. Paul PD has a proven track record of admitting those mistakes, however this is not one of those times.

"I simply can't sleep at night knowing that a good officer is being assailed by people who simply don't have the facts. This video was difficult to watch, my heart goes out to the Davis family.

"The only solace I can take ... is that Officer Mattson was not seriously injured or killed. But I do know his life will never be the same."

Davis was pronounced dead at the scene despite lifesaving measures from responders, with Bureau of Criminal Apprehension crime scene personnel recovering a knife from next to Davis' body.

WCCO reports that Davis had completed a 6-week maintenance and facilities training course just two days before he was killed, with his family saying he was "respectful and had a big heart." 

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