Use of force 'justified' in fatal police shooting of Ronald Davis

The 31-year-old was holding a knife in his hand when he was shot dead.
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Ronald Davis

The Ramsey County Attorney has said the police officer who fatally shot Ronald Davis in St. Paul last year will not be charged.

Davis, 31, was shot dead in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul on Sept. 15, 2019, shortly after he had rear-ended the squad car of St. Paul PD Officer Steven Mattson.

Bodycam footage from the incident showed Davis immediately confronting Mattson while holding a knife in his right hand. The two then engage in an altercation, with Mattson 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.

In a 13-page memo, the Ramsey County Attorney's Office explained that Mattson's shooting of Davis was justified.

Based upon Minnesota law, the office concluded that Mattson's actions were "objectively reasonable and necessary under the circumstances of this case."

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In an email memo to his staff, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi wrote that the bodycam video "on the face of it" suggested that Mattson's use of force "was necessary to protect himself from a deadly threat"

The recommendation by the attorney's office came after a review of the investigation submitted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Davis' death came just over a week after another fatal police shooting, of Brian Quinones, in Richfield. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced last week that no charges would be brought in that case.

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

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