The family of Thurman Blevins is calling for a third-party investigation after the decision not to charge the officers involved in the deadly shooting of their loved one.
The July 23 incident has sparked intense protests across Minneapolis with more expected to come. Blevins, 31, was gunned down by police during a brief foot chase, during which cops claim he turned and pointed a gun at them as he fled. The police fired their guns 14 times, hitting and killing the man.
However, Blevins’ family has questioned the officers’ account of what happened that day.
Speaking to CBS News, Blevins’ sister Darlynn and cousin Sydnee Brown acknowledged the victim was carrying a gun but said he ran from police because he feared for his life.
“… It was the way that they approached him when they came out of the vehicle,” Darlynn said. “I mean, who else is not going to run if somebody is behind me telling me ‘I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to kill you.'”
Minneapolis officials released body cam video of the incident Monday, showing officers chase the frightened man two-blocks up the road. One of the cops threatens to shoot if he doesn’t stop running, to which Thurman responds, “I didn’t do nothing bro … Please don’t shoot.”
Police fired their guns anyway, saying Blevins had a weapon of his own and was ready to fire.
“I remember seeing the barrel of that gun pointed right at me and I’m pretty sure he got a shot off,” officer Ryan Kelly recalled. “And in about another quarter of a second, I have my gun up and now I’m firing shots back at him.
Justin Schmidt, the other officer involved, said he feared for him and his partner’s lives at that moment.
Blevins’ family said they don’t believe it, calling the officers’ account “untrue.”
“We believe that is false and we are calling for a third-party investigation in regards to that,” Sydnee told CBS News. ” … “It happens all the time. It happens all the time with Black men.”
They said officers were intent on shooting Blevins, no matter how he responded.
The family said they’re now fighting to have case reopened and will pursue all possible actions against the officers involved.
Watch more in the clip below.