MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Police in Minneapolis said they would release body camera video on Thursday from a traffic stop that ended with a man shot dead, the city’s first police-involved death since George Floyd died while being restrained by officers in May.
Police said the man was a suspect in a felony and that he died in an exchange of gunfire Wednesday on the city’s south side. Chief Medaria Arradondo said witnesses said the man fired first. He said the officers’ body cameras were turned on and promised to release the video on Thursday, even as a state-led investigation proceeds.
The shooting stirred anxiety about renewed protests, seven months after unrest following Floyd’s death.
“I want our communities to see that so they can see for themselves,” he said. Until then, Arradondo said, “Please allow me, the (state) investigators, allow us the time, let us get the evidence, get the facts, so we can process this.”
Police spokesman John Elder said the shooting happened about 6:15 p.m. at a Holiday gas station as officers were carrying out a traffic stop. Police did not provide details of the supposed felony nor release any information about the man, including his race.
Elder said medical personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene. A woman in the car was unhurt, and no officers were hurt, Elder said. He declined to say whether police recovered a gun at the site of the shooting.
The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is handling an investigation.
Bayle Gelle, of Eden Prairie, told the Star Tribune on Thursday that the dead man was his son, 22-year-old Dolal Idd. Gelle told the newspaper that authorities haven’t given him any more information about what happened. He said several officers carried out a search warrant at his home Wednesday night.
“The police, they are brutality,” he told the Star Tribune. “I want to get justice.”
Online court records showed a string of minor traffic charges against Idd, but also a felony theft conviction in 2018 and a felony drug conviction in 2017. The records, which included a birthdate that would make Idd 23 years old, did not include detailed summaries of the cases.
The records also included a misdemeanor conviction in 2019 for carrying a pistol in a public place. The Star Tribune reported that charges in the case said Idd fired a gun in the basement shower of his parents’ home in suburban Eden Prairie with two children sleeping nearby. The charges said Idd was later arrested with a handgun that had been reported stolen in North Dakota.
Idd was Somali-American.
Arradondo said the traffic stop was carried out by members of a police community response team — long-standing units that respond to situations such as drug investigations and gun crime. He said he did not have additional details on why the man was sought.
The shooting happened less than a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the street corner where Floyd, a Black man, died in May after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for minutes, even as Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe. Floyd’s death sparked days of sometimes violent protest that spread around the country and resonated worldwide.
In Minneapolis, Floyd’s death also led to a push for radical change in the police department, long criticized by activists for what they called a brutal culture that resisted change. A push by some City Council members to replace the department with a new public safety unit failed this summer.
Mayor Jacob Frey and Arradondo, who opposed doing away with the department, have offered several policy changes since Floyd’s death, including revising use-of-force policies and requiring officers to report on their attempts to de-escalate situations. Just this week, the chief and mayor unveiled a new plan to involve the city attorney’s office more quickly in investigations of officers accused of misconduct.
Frey said in a statement late Wednesday that he was working with Arradondo for information on the shooting, and pledged to get it out as quickly as possible in coordination with the state investigation.
“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city,” Frey said. “We know a life has been cut short and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile. ... We must all be committed to getting the facts, pursuing justice, and keeping the peace.”
All four officers involved in Floyd’s death were fired and quickly charged. They are scheduled for trial in March.