Video of fatal Minneapolis police shooting shows few details

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Police released body camera video on Wednesday of a six-hour standoff that ended with officers fatally shooting a black Minneapolis man, but the footage did not show his death. he was holding a gun or threatening police officers.

Andrew Tekle Sundberg, 20, was shot dead by two police snipers early last Thursday, authorities said. His family said he was suffering from a mental health crisis.

Mayor Jacob Frey and Acting Police Chief Amelia Huffman declined to characterize the footage of officers at the scene, citing an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Arrest. They answered some questions from journalists during a press conference.

Police spokesman Howie Padilla said the city has yet to identify any video “that shows the clearest picture” of what happened, and he urged anyone who may have d other videos to come forward.

The mayor and the police have come under heavy pressure to speed up the release of videos and other information about the police shootings. Sundberg was killed a little over two years after the murder of george floyd by officer Derek Chauvin, and a few months after the murder of Amir Locke by a Minneapolis SWAT team member just seconds after the team broke into an apartment on a no-hit search warrant.

The police videos included audio recordings of shots fired and officers saying “shots fired”, but the recordings did not clearly indicate whether it was Sundberg or the police who fired the shots.

Huffman said she met with Sundberg’s parents and they saw the videos.

Family attorney Jeff Storms said Sundberg’s parents “send their deepest condolences to everyone affected by Tekle’s mental health crisis.” He added that they also hoped any bystanders with video of the shooting would come forward.

Police attended the scene on the night of July 13 after a 911 call from a Sundberg neighbor who said he fired a gun into her apartment, putting her and her sons in danger 2 and 4 years old. Video of an officer in a stairwell showed officers pulling them to safety, an action that Frey and Huffman highlighted.

Officers “rescued a frightened and vulnerable mother and two children – all during an active shooter situation,” Frey said. Huffman said the officers “showed bravery under fire, a commitment to protecting the public, and a determination to use communication whenever possible.”

Police tried for hours to persuade Sundberg to turn himself in and brought his parents to the scene. Officers can be heard on video, of an officer at ground level telling him minutes before he was shot at 4.18am that he was under arrest.

“We don’t want to hurt you, we just want to go home,” an officer said.

Ground-level video showed Sundberg leaning in and out of his third-story window, but it did not clearly indicate what he might have been holding, nor did it show him doing it. to shoot on.

A video from one of the snipers across the street didn’t show Sundberg at all, but an officer could be heard asking “Is that a cell phone?” before saying the word “gun”. The other officer also seemed to say “gun”. Two shots were heard, which also appeared to show an officer pulling the trigger on his rifle.

Investigators recovered a .38 caliber handgun with a magazine extended from a bed in Sundberg’s apartment, and live .45 caliber cartridges from a closet and bowl in the living room, according to warrant affidavits from search released on Friday.

John Baker, a professor of criminal justice studies at St. Cloud State University who trains officer candidates, said in an interview Tuesday that the key question in determining whether the shooting was justified was whether there was an imminent threat to officers or others at the specific location. when they fired.

Shooting Sundberg, who often went by his middle name, Tekle, fueled the mistrust of some activists of the Minneapolis Police Department and their perception that officers quickly take black lives while making greater efforts to capture white suspects alive.

Trahern Crews, a Black Lives Matter Minnesota leader who led a protest at the scene on Saturday, said he hopes a clearer video exists because the video released Wednesday does not show whether Sundberg was holding a gun when he was shot.

“It is difficult for us to accept the story of the police. … You can hear the shooting and what happened, but you can’t really see what happened,” Crews said.

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