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ACLU pushes for swifter disclosure about fatal St. Paul police shooting

August 6, 2018

A civil rights group on Monday called to the immediate release of the identities of the police officers who shot and killed a man early Sunday at a home in St. Paul.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota also urged authorities to identify the man who was shot after police were called to the second-story unit in the 900 block of St. Anthony Avenue, just north of Interstate 94 in the Summit-University neighborhood.

Officers arrived about 2:30 a.m. and two of them shot an armed man, police said. The officers were wearing body cameras that were activated, and the footage has been turned over to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), which is conducting the investigation.

While authorities have yet to say whether the shooting occurred in the property or outside, emergency dispatch audio indicated that the gunfire occurred inside and no officers were injured. The officers involved have been put on standard paid administrative leave.

Teresa Nelson, legal director of the ACLU-Minnesota, said the BCA is failing to keep the public informed about the shooting in a timely manner.

The U.S. Department of Justice best practices ... recommend within 24 hours of the incident authorities should brief community leaders and lay out a timeline of the investigatory process, Nelson said. Neither the individuals name nor any timeline information has yet to be released despite being over 24 hours since the incident has occurred.

Nelson acknowledged that investigators have said that the man police shot had a gun and the officers body cameras were activated, but the public deserves to know more. ... The ACLU of Minnesota calls on the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the St. Paul police to be more forthcoming and transparent about the killing.

Traditionally, body camera footage is withheld from the public until the BCA investigation is complete, something that can take months. But in the recent shooting of Thurman Blevins by Minneapolis police, Mayor Jacob Frey released the video five weeks afterward. The officers involved were not charged in the shooting.

Paul Walsh 612-673-4482

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