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Minneapolis police kill man during traffic stop
Police in Minneapolis shot and killed a man during a traffic stop on the city’s south side Wednesday night. Police say the man was a felony suspect and that he shot at officers, who then returned fire. (Dec. 31)
Police in Minneapolis on Thursday released body-camera video from a traffic stop one night earlier that ended with a man shot dead, an extraordinarily quick move aimed at stemming public anger over the city’s first police-involved death since George Floyd died while being restrained by officers in May.
The confrontation happened about 6:15 p.m. Wednesday in a gas station on the south side, about a mile from where Floyd died. Police said the man — identified by his father as Dolal Idd — was a suspect in a felony and that eyewitnesses said he had fired first.
The city released a brief clip from one officer’s body-camera in two versions, one of them slowed down to make it easier to follow. The video showed the man attempting to drive away from police before his vehicle was hemmed in, and then showed him looking through his driver’s side window at the officers. It was difficult to make out more detail.
The driver’s window shatters, an officer is heard swearing, and at least a dozen shots are fired.
Chief Medaria Arradondo said a gun was found at the scene. A woman in the car was unhurt; no officers were hurt. At a news conference, Arradondo was asked whether officers used reasonable force, and he said they reacted to a deadly threat.
“When officers are experiencing gunfire, they are trained to respond,” Arradondo said. Later, when he was pressed on whether it was clear to him that the man in the car fired first, he said: “When I viewed the video that everyone else is viewing, and certainly the real-time slowed-down version, certainly it appears the individual inside the vehicle fires his weapon at the officers first.”
Arradondo said the man was stopped as part of a weapons investigation, but he said he had no other details.
Arradondo moved to release the video far earlier than usual, saying he wanted people to see it for themselves even as the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigates.
Bayle Gelle, of Eden Prairie, told the Star Tribune on Thursday that the dead man was his son, 22-year-old Dolal Idd. Gelle told the newspaper that authorities haven’t given him any more information about what happened. He said several officers carried out a search warrant at his home Wednesday night.
“The police they are brutality,” he told the Star Tribune. “I want to get justice.”
Idd was Somali American.
Online court records showed a string of minor traffic charges against Idd, but also a felony theft conviction in 2018 and a felony drug conviction in 2017.
Protesters gathered at the site in the hours after the shooting, and Arradondo said he had been reaching out to community and religious leaders.
“We want to do everything we can to protect everyone’s First Amendment rights, to freely assemble, demonstrate, but, I say again, we cannot allow for destructive criminal behavior. Our city has gone through too much.”
Mayor Jacob Frey issued a statement saying he was working closely with Arradondo to gather all the facts in the shooting and promised that the information would be relayed to the community as quickly as possible.
“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city,” Frey said. “We know a life has been cut short tonight and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile. Rebuilding that trust will depend on complete transparency.”
Floyd was a Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
The confrontation, caught on video, drew months of angry and sometimes violent protests demanding racial justice and police reform. “Defund police” became a recurring battle cry.
Police departments faced criticism over the use of tear gas, pepper spray and other means to control the protests, and police chiefs in major cities including Seattle, Atlanta, Portland and Louisville, Kentucky, were fired, resigned or abruptly retired.
Arradondo kept his job. But the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a budget this month that shifted $8 million from the police department toward violence prevention and other services.
A proposal to dismantle his department and replace it with a Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention initially had support from a majority of the council but faltered when a separate city commission voted against putting it on the November ballot.
Chauvin faces second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter charges. Three officers who were also present when Floyd died in May – J. Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane – are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.
All were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. They are scheduled to stand trial together in March in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
Contributing: The Associated Press; Wyatte Grantham-Philips
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