MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCCO) — Anger has transformed into calls for action by many community members in north Minneapolis after the death of Thurman Blevins.
A community meeting was held on Wednesday night at Jenny Lind Elementary School, just blocks away from where Blevins was killed on the evening of June 23.
The 31-year-old father was shot by two Minneapolis police officers responding to a call of a man firing a gun in residential neighborhood.
Friends and family members spoke about their memories of Blevins, known to many as Junior.
“I just want justice and justice for me… is for everybody here to know who Junior really was… and that’s the justice because I don’t think we will see anything else,” said Sharon, a friend of Blevins.
Conflicting narratives have emerged on whether or not Blevins had a gun during the fatal encounter.
On one hand lies investigators with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who said they found a black and silver handgun at the scene.
On the other, many community members, like James Lark, who said he saw the initial encounter that night.
“All of those suggestions, he had a gun in the alley, he was shot in this gentleman’s yard, this and that. I can’t tell you that part, but I know when they initially stopped this guy and jumped out, this guy didn’t have no gun on him,” said Lark.
The officers involved were wearing body cameras, which were on and rolling during the shooting.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said he intends to release that video to the public, but Blevins’ cousin doesn’t want to see it.
“I understand we have to look at it as evidence, but I’m sorry, I do not think it should be made public. We already know what was done. That man was assassinated in the alley,” said cousin Melinda Blevins.
On Thursday night, the head of the Minnesota BCA will speak at another community meeting in north Minneapolis. He is expected to talk about how the agency investigates officer-involved shootings.
A funeral for Blevins is scheduled for Saturday.