ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Ronald Davis was shot to death a week ago at Thomas Avenue and Griggs Street after he crashed his car into the back of a squad car. Dispatch audio recorded an officer ordering Davis to drop a knife before shots were fired.
At the steps of St. Paul Police Department’s west district along the pavement of University Avenue and in the now solemn spot where the two streets intersect, Ronald Davis’s name — and calls for justice in his death — were heard.
“So this is a reminder to the police that, yes, Ronald’s life mattered — but also to the community to keep them aware,” organizer Monique Cullars-Doty said. “Saying, okay, something here has happened. A man’s life was taken and it’s not okay.”
One week earlier, this spot — now filled with protestors and a memorial — was blocked off as the BCA and police canvassed the scene. Investigators say Davis crashed into a St. Paul police squad. When officer Steven Mattson got out, they say Davis confronted him, saying “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!”
Second later, Officer Mattson said, “Shots fired. Shots fired.”
This Sunday, one neighbor told WCCO off-camera that the protest is necessary.
“I’m glad when people show support or kind of become awakened because it’s now landed on their doorstep,” Cullars-Doty said.
Others say it’s a tragedy for both Davis and police. All we talked with say they hope to learn more once officer Mattson’s body camera footage is released. Protestors say their other focus is giving Davis’ family a shoulder to lean on.
“They are angry, they are upset, they are hurt, and they said, ‘We want some support and some help,'” Cullars-Doty said. “And this is our response.”
Davis’s wife stopped by the intersection when the march arrived, thanking the crowd for their support and praying over his memorial. This Tuesday, St. Paul police plan to release the body camera footage.