MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Police in Minneapolis have released 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 say 23-year-old Dolal Idd was a suspect in a felony, and that he died in an exchange of gunfire Wednesday on the city's south side. Officers and initial witnesses say Idd fired at police first, and then officers fired back, killing him. Police did not provide details of the supposed felony.
Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says Idd's family saw that body camera video first. The department released the clip less than 24 hours after the shooting.
The footage, from one officer's camera, shows squad cars corner Idd's white car at about 6:15 p.m. at the Holiday gas station off of East 36th Street and Cedar Avenue. From the officer's point of view, you're seeing him point his gun at the car. You can see Idd in the window, then you see the glass blow outwards towards police. That's when officers began firing back at the car. You can hear more than one officer shooting, including the officer wearing the body camera. There was a woman in the car with Idd, but she was not hurt.
During a press conference early Thursday evening, Chief Arradondo said the traffic stop was carried out by members of a police community response team -- a longstanding unit that respond to situations such as drug investigations and gun crime.
"Our officers … from our community response team were conducting an investigation based on a weapons investigation, and that resulted in a traffic stop at the 36th and Cedar Avenue Holiday gas station," Arradondo said.
Police only plan to release body cam footage from one officer. The officers involved are on standard leave while the investigation is continues.
Bayle Gelle, Idd's father, showed up to the gas station just before noon with several family members and close friends. His purpose for returning to gas station, which was open and operating as normal Thursday, was to ask staff there to release the surveillance footage they have of the shooting.
"We need justice, we need justice," Gelle said. "They don't want to give us any answer."
Gelle says authorities arrived at his Eden Prairie home in the middle of the night, telling him his son had been shot without giving much detail.
"He was just sitting in the car, and bullets were shot at him, and no reason. Why are we here? Because why were they shooting? Because of color. He is a Black man," Gelle said. "We want to know why my sweet son gets shot and killed."
The shooting stirred anxiety about renewed protests, seven months after unrest following Floyd's death. The latest shooting happened about a mile from where Floyd died while being restrained by officers.
Arradondo says he quickly released the body camera footage so that the public can see what happened for themselves. The quick release of footage in this case is the result of a recent policy change that no longer allows officers involved in a shooting to review the footage before writing their reports. For comparison, it took weeks before the body camera footage was released in Floyd's death.
Police spokesperson John Elder declined Wednesday night to say whether police recovered a gun at the site of the shooting. However, sources told WCCO that investigators found a gun on the suspect. Elder said no officers were hurt, nor was Idd's female passenger. He said he didn't know how many officers were at the scene carrying out the traffic stop or how many were involved in the shooting.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is handling the investigation. WCCO has reached out to the Minneapolis Police Officers Federation for comment and have not heard back.
Dozens of people gathered at the scene in the hours after the shooting, including some who interrupted Elder and sharply questioned him as he delivered a media briefing.
"We're prepared, we're holding [the Minneapolis Police Department] accountable," said a protester named Miguel. "We have boots on the ground, eyes on the ground so they don't have space to move, they don't have time to hide what they're doing. They have to respond to the community now, and truthfully."
Earlier this month, the city of Minneapolis also agreed on a new budget plan that will reallocate $8 million from the MPD toward violence prevention and other programs. But per Mayor Jacob Frey's request, the department will not reduce the number of officers on their force. Frey threatened to veto the city budget if the number of 888 officers were reduced.
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 charged in his death. They are scheduled for trial in March, though the state is now pushing to have the trial moved to June due to COVID concerns.
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