MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wednesday night’s riots began after people thought Minneapolis officers shot a man downtown.
Police quickly released video online that they say shows the man died by suicide.
Thursday, Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo addressed the decision to release that video.
“I do feel strongly that this was the right decision to move forward with the release of the video, and simultaneously understand the pain that it causes,” Frey said. “There is a lot of distrust right now in the community and we recognize that, so it can’t just be my word or the chief’s word or our PIO’s word. We need to be honest.”
“There would have been probably much greater destruction and chaos if we had let that rumor of an officer-involved shooting go,” Arradondo said. “The mayor had to balance that and I think he made the right decision to release the video.”
The video has since been removed from social media. Dr. Dan Reidenberg, executive director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), says he worries about other effects it will have.
“When you’re exposed to something really traumatic that is outside the norm for you, and you have no way to process it through, it not only triggers other things that have happened to your life, but it doesn’t leave you, and that becomes really distressing for people,” Reidenberg said.
His advice for people to overcome a traumatic experience:
- Avoid using alcohol or drugs to deal with the pain
- Talk about it
- Keep a normal routine
- Find things you enjoy doing
If you can’t stop thinking about it, he suggests reaching out to a professional. If you or a loved one needs help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available right now, 24 hours a day. Text 741-741, or call 1-800-273-8255.