Minneapolis police shot and killed a man during a traffic stop on the city’s south side on Wednesday night. It was the first officer-involved killing since George Floyd died while he was being detained by Minneapolis police officers in May less than a mile away. Police said there was an exchange of gunfire, and Chief Medaria Arradondo noted reports that the man was the first to open fire. “Initial witness statements indicate that the subject involved in this felony stop fired first at Minneapolis police officers who then exchanged gunfire with the suspect,” Arradondo said.
The officers had body cameras active during the incident, and footage will be released Thursday, Arradondo said. “I want the community to be able to see what occurred and I think that that is part of us again moving forward and wanting to make sure we get the facts out there,” he said.
Police have yet to release any information about the man who was killed or details about the alleged felony. They also did not release any information about his race. The man was declared dead at the scene, and a woman who was in the car with him was not harmed, according to police spokesman John Elder. Mayor Jacob Frey issued a statement vowing that the investigation would be transparent. “We know a life has been cut short tonight and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile,” Frey wrote. “Rebuilding that trust will depend on complete transparency.”
Shortly after the shooting, a group of around 100 protesters gathered at the scene. And while there were moments of tension, including protesters throwing snowballs at police, everything remained “relatively peaceful,” reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Arradondo said the rights of protesters would be respected but called on them to remain peaceful. “As chief, I recognize the trauma that our city has been under, and we want to do everything we can to maintain the peace,” he said. “Our city has gone through too much. We need to keep our officers safe, we need to keep our community safe, and I tell you, we need to preserve that crime scene.”