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Report: Minneapolis Cops Ask To Use 40mm Launchers After 100+ Person Crowd Begins Attacking

On Wednesday night, Minneapolis police had their first fatal officer-involved shooting since the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.

The situation was markedly different.

“The shooting occurred as officers tried to stop the man, whom they described as a felony suspect, about 6:15 p.m. at the Holiday gas station at E. 36th Street and Cedar Avenue,” the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune reported.

“[Police Chief Medaria] Arradondo said witnesses reported that the suspect fired first, and that ‘police officers then exchanged gunfire with the suspects.’ A woman also in the car was not hurt.”

The police didn’t release the name or race of the individual who was killed immediately. According to The New York Times, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey initially described him as Somali. He was eventually identified as Dolal B. Idd, a 23-year-old black man.

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According to the Star Tribune, Chief Arradondo pleaded for peace and said the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which investigates officer-involved shootings, should be allowed to do its work.

“As chief, I recognize the trauma that our city has been under, and we want to do everything we can to maintain the peace,” he said.

“Our city has gone through too much. We need to keep our officers safe, we need to keep our community safe, and I tell you, we need to preserve that crime scene.”

The crowd that gathered didn’t care, as footage tweeted by the Star Tribune’s Alex Chhith showed.

Is anti-police sentiment on the left out of control?

While the violence directed toward police was certainly nothing on the scale of what we witnessed after Floyd’s death in May, the situation got to the point where police reportedly asked for permission to use 40mm non-lethal projectile launchers to control the crowd.

These were some of the first tweets from Chhith on Wednesday night:

WARNING: The following videos contain vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive:

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Things deteriorated from there, however, as the crowd grew to roughly 100 individuals, according to the Star Tribune.

Kim Hyatt, also of the Star Tribune, reported police were in a situation where they were concerned about using the 40mm launchers “to stop imminent physical harm to officers.”

Hyatt quoted an officer who said that the crowd was large enough that “[i]f they choose to storm past us we do not have the resources to hold this crowd back.”

To understand the authorization aspect of the drama: After the deployment of crowd control weapons like rubber bullets and chemical agents during the George Floyd riots, the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights reached an agreement where their use could only be authorized by the chief of police.

For what it’s worth, nothing deteriorated to that point — which was probably wise on the part of the demonstrators, considering the body camera footage released on Thursday, which made it clear this was decidedly different than what happened in May.

As The New York Times put it, “[t]he video shows a man raising something to his car window before a bang is heard.”

“An officer ducks for cover and then fires several rounds at the man.”

While one understands body camera footage generally shows events unfold so quickly it’s difficult to discern what happened, one wishes the non-judgmental tone in this description of the footage by The Times would bleed over into its political coverage.

“The 28-second video shows a chaotic scene in which several police cars are blocking a driver from leaving the parking lot of a gas station. As an officer walks toward the car and yells for the driver to put his hands up, the man appears to raise something to his window and a loud bang can be heard.

“The driver’s window shatters, someone curses and the officer ducks for cover.”

It was later revealed police had stopped the car as part of a “weapons investigation,” Arradondo said at a news conference, and that a weapon was indeed found inside the car.

“Chief Arradondo said on Thursday that he believed the body camera footage showed the man firing first at the officers, and he indicated that he thought the officers had been right to fire at the man,” The Times reported.

Minneapolis authorities are doubtlessly doing their best to tread lightly in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

“Events of this past year have marked some of the darkest days in our city,” Mayor Frey said in a statement, the Star Tribune reported.

“We know a life has been cut short and that trust between communities of color and law enforcement is fragile. Rebuilding that trust will depend on complete transparency. … We must all be committed to getting the facts, pursuing justice, and keeping the peace.

Mayor Frey, Chief Arradondo and Minneapolis law enforcement have other problems beyond rebuilding that fragile trust, as the news outlet pointed out.

“Violent crime has surged in Minneapolis this year, at times rising in more prosperous neighborhoods that typically experience few of those incidents, but taking its largest toll in the city’s poorer, ethnically diverse areas,” the Tribune reported.

“More than 500 people have been shot in the city this year, the highest number in 15 years. Carjackings also rose dramatically.”

Meanwhile, as part of rebuilding this trust after the death of George Floyd, Minneapolis’ city council promised to disband the police. That zeal evaporated in the face of reality; as liberal outfit Rolling Stone ruefully noted, what ended up happening was 4.5 percent being trimmed from the police’s budget for 2021.

Law enforcement in Minneapolis may need to rebuild trust, yes. More importantly, however, it needs to rebuild its ability to enforce the law — and to keep themselves safe from demonstrators who believe they have free reign to attack the police.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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