MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — No charges will be filed against one Eagan police officer and four Bloomington officers who shot and killed 23-year-old Isak Aden during a standoff this summer.
In a statement released Wednesday, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said that Eagan officer Jacob Peterson and Bloomington officers Matthew Ryan, Anthony Kiehl, Adam Stier and Daniel Nelson were legally justified in their use of deadly force in Eagan on July 2.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension shared new evidence files on Wednesday. Video captured from a Minnesota State Patrol dash camera appears to show Aden reaching for something on the ground six seconds after the flash bags were fired towards him. The five officers then shot Aden 11 times.
“Although I have concluded that the use of deadly force by the law enforcement officers was legally justified in this instance, any loss of life is a tragic occurrence,” Backstrom said in a written statement. “I wish to express my sympathy to the family and friends of Isak Aden.”
A report by the Dakota County Attorney’s office details Aden ran from authorities earlier that day after assaulting a woman in a car and pointing a gun at her. Officers were able to follow him into a commercial area behind Seneca Road in Eagan and tried to negotiate with him before it ended in gunfire four hours later.
In the months since his death, Aden’s family has appeared at protests and city council meetings, calling for justice. Aden’s brother, Badrudin Aden, told WCCO that he was at the scene of the shooting and described it as an execution.
“Isak was a very kind-hearted individual who was respected by his peers,” Badrudin Aden said. “We will keep fighting until he receives the justice he deserves.”
After the charging decision was released, Bloomington’s Police Chief Jeff Potts issued the following statement:
The life of Isak Aden was lost this past July and the impacts were significant to the Aden family, the officers involved, as well as the community. Today, the Dakota County Attorney’s Office reached a decision in the officer-involved shooting death of Isak Aden, concluding that officers were justified in using deadly force.
We know this is a difficult time for everyone impacted by this situation. I am committed to helping anywhere I can, as individuals work through the process of dealing with their grief, emotions, and well-being. My hope is that we can begin the long process of healing from this tragic event.
Matthew Lawlyes, Esq. and Ruth Lane, Esq. are currently serving as counsel for the Aden family. They provided WCCO with the following statement after the charging decision was announced:
The Aden family continues to grieve the loss of Isak and is saddened by Dakota County’s inaction. After reviewing the evidence, it is clear that Isak’s death was avoidable, unnecessary, and unjustified. The Aden family will move forward with their efforts to seek justice and accountability on behalf of Isak.
The family is still in the process of gathering and reviewing all evidence and has not made any decision regarding the filing of a civil suit at this time. What evidence has been reviewed, however, does suggest that a civil suit will be necessary.