Minneapolis releases body cam video of Blevins shooting

Thurman Blevins
Thurman Blevins

MPR’s story on the release of body cam video of the shooting of Thurman Blevins says: “The footage shows officers Justin Schmidt and Ryan Kelly in their squad, driving and looking for a man in a tank top who was reported to be shooting a handgun in the air. They appear to spot a man matching the description. One officer says he sees a gun and both begin pursuing Blevins on foot, down the street and into a north Minneapolis alley. … He continues to run as Officer Schmidt orders him to drop his gun. An enhanced video released by the city appears to show a gun in Blevins’ hand when officers open fire. After Blevins has been shot, the footage shows officers kick what appears to be a gun away from his body.” 

In the Star Tribune, Paul Walsh says, “The release of the video so soon after the shooting comes as police departments in the Twin Cities and beyond cope with public backlash over the shooting of men of color during encounters with officers. In this and other shootings, activists have demanded rapid release of police bodycam video, believing the images will reveal that officers are too quick to shoot suspects.” 

I am just so surprised this guy was not paying taxes. The Star Tribune’s Randy Furst reports, “Few Minnesota lawyers in the past decade have found themselves so frequently on the wrong side of the law as William Bernard Butler. The 54-year-old Minneapolis attorney has been denounced by federal and state district judges, sanctioned and held in contempt for filing frivolous lawsuits over house foreclosures, then failing to pay the fees and fines when he was sanctioned. … But Butler may be facing his biggest legal problem yet. Despite earning hundreds of thousands of dollars while he still had a law license, Butler has not paid his income taxes since 2010, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.” 

Baseball factory. The Pioneer Press’ Dane Mizutani writes: “Jack Morris took center stage on Sunday afternoon with more than 50,000 fans in front of him and a pair of St. Paul baseball legends behind him. While it’s arguable which of the two made him more nervous on this particular day, Morris said he couldn’t be prouder to be joining Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor as St. Paul natives in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. ‘I’m thrilled to join them both in Cooperstown as the third hall of famer from St. Paul,’ Morris said late in his induction speech. The three were born within five years of each other and within a few miles of each other.”

Yeah, let’s not go getting all crazy. Says Maya Rao fo the Strib, “The push to implement what supporters have dubbed “Medicare for All,” which counts U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota as a high-profile backer, threatens to divide the party as Democrats try to win control of Congress in the midterm elections and build a more cohesive policy platform that goes beyond opposition to President Donald Trump. Ellison was among more than 60 House members who launched a Medicare for All caucus last week in Washington, a sign the policy is gaining momentum in Democratic ranks. At a single-payer conference last month, Ellison raised the idea that fellow Democrats who don’t get on board should pay a political price.” 

Are you ready for some facts? On St. Paul’s $15 minimum wage debate, Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports, “It’s a frequent refrain among advocates and opponents of a $15 minimum wage: Just look at the studies. … One problem with looking at studies of a $15 minimum wage: None exist. Sure, there’s plenty of conjecture based on preliminary data, including rival studies that have come to largely contradictory conclusions on the Seattle experience to date. But no city other than San Francisco, which reached $15 on July 1, has rolled out a $15 minimum wage, at least not in full — not even Seattle, which inspired ‘Fight for $15’ efforts coast to coast when it passed new wage laws in June 2014. Citywide, employers there won’t be required to pay $15 per hour until the year 2021.” So you’re saying what I “feel” is not a fact?

Zone coverage. Stribber James Walsh writes, “Eager to enliven the nightlife around the new Minnesota United soccer stadium, St. Paul leaders are ready to allow more bars and nightclubs. … City officials are proposing as many as 12 small entertainment zones — called commercial development districts — along University Avenue. The goal is to draw more consistent crowds to area businesses than the 25,000 or so expected to show up to Allianz Field on Minnesota United game days.”

Prime time. A trio of MPR reporters write: “The prime minister of Ethiopia made international headlines earlier this month as he advanced a peace deal with the neighboring nation of Eritrea, a longtime rival. In his first few months in office, Abiy Ahmed also has promoted human rights and economic reforms within his country. Last week he visited Washington, where Vice President Mike Pence congratulated him on ‘historic reform efforts.’ And on Monday, he’s scheduled to speak in Minneapolis. The visit to the Twin Cities has spurred excitement in Minnesota’s large Ethiopian community.”

It’s Soucheray vs. St. Paul’s coyotes. “A 2-year-old is often in my charge,” writes the PiPress columnist. “I am reasonably confident that if I turned my head for a moment or two and she got into the clutches of a mangy, hungry coyote, I would be in big trouble. That’s why I wanted to know whether [animal control supervisor Molly] Lunaris had small children. No one I know in St. Paul is pleased with the increase in coyotes and no one I know knew that we had an animal-control supervisor with such an unrealistic grasp of reality.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 07/30/2018 - 07:58 am.

    Blevins shooting

    once again shows the importance of not letting your emotions or agenda guide your opinion, but just the facts.

  2. Submitted by Mike Chrun on 07/30/2018 - 10:59 am.

    Who pays the “Political Price?”

    Ellison’s attitude is what worries me most about the coming elections. How about working to elect as many Democrats as possible, and then work toward single pay medical coverage instead of making it a test that fractures the party? Republicans are already adept enough at pushing their divide and conquer strategy without a supposed Democratic leader helping them out. I’m sure he’s got all sorts of poll data supporting his view; but it seems like a real mistake to appear to give a big middle finger to more traditional Democrats who aren’t ready to jump on the Medicare for All train. Mark Dayton and his narrow victory is all that stood in the way of Minnesota becoming Wisconsin 2.0 and social cuts aimed at the poor, easing environmental laws, more tax breaks for the rich, and a concerted attack on public eduation and teachers.

  3. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 08/01/2018 - 10:57 pm.

    Ethiopian PM’s Visit to Minneapolis (on 7/30/18)

    The new and refreshingly progressive Ethiopian leader, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, came to Minneapolis on Monday and was warmly welcomed by a sizable gathering of Ethiopian-Americans, and Ethiopian resident communities from the surrounding areas. The event at Target Center was carried live on YouTube and can be accessed for viewing by all who may be interested.

    The phenomenon of “Abiy”, if I may be permitted to so describe it, is a development that is positively contagious since it is taking Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa by storm.

    Let me describe just what is going on with the new philosophy, new direction, and totally un-imagined notion of nationhood in Ethiopia. Dr. Abiy has brought together and neatly combined all of his ideas under one umbrella which everybody is abbreviating as ” መ ደ መ ር ” (MEDEMER).

    Literally, the word “medemer” means to add, as in the arithmetic sense, … or to count, or to be counted. In actuality, “medemer” nowadays may be having a much bigger and more significant relevance in the political life of Ethiopians. Of late, I’ve been made to understand that the specific reference of “medemer” is to “unity” (as in “United we stand, divided we fall”). But there is also a general allusion to “Inclusive Democracy”, because in such a democracy, everybody counts and gets counted.

    Moreover, Dr. Abiy is specifically asking for Love, for Peace, for Forgiveness, for Brotherhood, for Sacrifice, and for a grander, and more dedicated philosophy of giving, not taking. Specifically, he praises idealists and thinkers, but he is more appreciative of those who actually do the work. He mentions John F Kennedy as a great visionary, but Dr. Abiy’s hero is Lyndon Johnson who actually accomplished a lot.

    Dr. Abiy Ahmed is most uniquely suited to lead Ethiopia for the following reasons:

    1 – His family background (i.e. cultural) …. Born to a Moslem father and an Orthodox Christian mother and raised in Southwest Ethiopia , he, himself, is a Pentecostal Christian. Ethnically, he is an Oromo but not an “Oromayan”. He identifies as an Ethiopian, and rigorously promotes that sense of belonging. Furthermore, he is married to a beautiful lady from Northwest Ethiopia and they’re proud parents to three beautiful young daughters.

    2 – He speaks three ethnic languages: Amharic, Oromo, and Tigrigna …all of them fluently!
    He also speaks English very well even though it is a foreign language.
    *** Talk about a product of a “melting pot” … he is a living example of that for Ethiopia ! ***

    3 – He served in the military reaching the rank of Lt. Colonel. And it is reported he had been engaged in battle lines especially during the Ethio-Eritrean conflict. There, he learned the senselessness of wars between brothers.

    4 – He is highly educated and well-versed in science and technological matters, especially in the areas of Network Communications as tools for day-to-day dealings in business, in banking, in education, and in overall national development and growth.

    5 – He is receptive and approachable. And so far, he is showing none of the trappings of power or ego. He is simple and humble but he is also daring and challenges his countrymen to step up and walk the talk!

    6 – “Progression not Regression” seems to be his motto as well. And he has proclaimed he seeks friends and allies, not enemies.

    7 – He is applying “gentle persuasion” and not forceful and militant dogmatism. He is hitting all the right chords so far. No wonder Ethiopians are loving him up !!!

    < < MEDEMER... that is the zeitgeist now ! >>

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