Police in Minneapolis, Minnesota fatally shot a man during a traffic stop on Wednesday (December 30) night. Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the shooting took place less than a mile from where George Floyd was murdered by police on May 25.
“Initial witness statements indicate the suspect involved in this felony stop fired first,” Arradondo said. He said police “then exchanged gunfire with the suspect.”
The race of the male person killed has not been released. Authorities say he was pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. Neither the officers or the female passenger of the car were hurt, according to the police chief.
Arradondo announced that bodycam footage of the incident will be released to the public on Thursday (December 31). The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is taking the lead on the investigation.
Protesters had already gathered at the site within hours of the shooting. In response to the shooting, Arradondo said that he has been reaching out to community and religious leaders.
“We want to do everything we can to protect everyone’s First Amendment rights, to freely assemble, demonstrate, but, I say again, we cannot allow for destructive criminal behavior. Our city has gone through too much,” he said.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey released a statement indicating he is working with law enforcement leaders to get the facts of the case and would be providing information to the community in a timely manner.
“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city,” Mayor Frey said. “We know a life has been cut short tonight and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile. Rebuilding that trust will depend on complete transparency.”
Earlier this month, the city approved moving $8 million away from the police department budget to pay for prevention services and community resources, though the same number of officers would be maintained by the department.
The funding shift came after months of global protests following Floyd’s death. Organizers called for cities to “defund the police” so that mental health resources and other services would be a financial priority in their communities in an effort to reduce police violence and overall criminal justice system contact.
All four officers involved in Floyd’s death have been fired. They are awaiting trial, which is set to begin in March.
Photo: Getty Images