Minneapolis police fatally shoot man during traffic stop, first death since Floyd

Authorities say witnesses to the killing saw the man firing at police officers who'd pulled him over.

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Police in Minneapolis fatally shot a man Wednesday evening, the first department killing since George Floyd died after officers kneeled on his body for nearly nine minutes.  

City leaders are calling for calm, claiming that this latest shooting, which happened during a traffic stop, was under different circumstances than the Floyd death in late May, a videotaped incident that sparked a summer of protests across the nation calling for widespread police reform. Authorities maintain that witnesses to Wednesday’s killing saw the man firing at officers who had pulled him over. 

Minneapolis Police shot a man to death Wednesday night during a traffic stop, the department’s first killing since the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo contends that officers’ body camera footage of the incident will be released today. 

“Initial witness statements indicate that the subject involved in this felony stop fired first at Minneapolis police officers, who then exchanged gunfire,” Arradondo said. “The subject of the stop was pronounced deceased at the scene by medical personnel.”

A woman reportedly in the vehicle was not injured.

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“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city. We know that a life has been cut short and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile,” Mayor Jacob Frey said in a statement. “We must all be committed to getting the facts, pursuing justice, and keeping the peace.”

The city of Minneapolis has committed to reforming its police department in the wake of Floyd’s killing. However, those fervent calls for change have quieted amidst the city’s rise in violent crime.

Earlier this month, the Minneapolis City Council voted to cut $8 million from the police department’s budget. Those funds will be reinvested in mental health training for emergency call workers and the creation of mental health crisis teams. 

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The identity of the man shot and killed on Wednesday has not been released, nor were the names of the officers involved. 

Chief Arradondo, like Mayor Frey, called for peace while the investigation is ongoing, yet he expressed empathy, saying that many in the city are still “traumatized” by Floyd’s death. 

“As chief, I recognize the trauma that our city has been under,” Arradondo said, “and we want to do everything we can to maintain the peace. Our city has gone through too much. We need to keep our officers safe, we need to keep our community safe.”

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