2 Responses to “Erin Murphy’s statement on the Thurman Blevins shooting”

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It’s apparent that Erin Murphy hasn’t thought about crime from a police officer’s perspective. That’s totally apparent after reading this article. First, Jeff Johnson said “I watched the body camera footage from the Thurman Blevins shooting today. It shows clearly that Blevins was carrying a gun and that the Minneapolis officer involved did everything he could to convince Blevins to surrender before firing his weapon. Serving our communities as a police officer is one of the hardest jobs in America today and we shouldn’t second-guess the very difficult decisions they make until we have all of the facts.”

Gov. Pawlenty issued a statement, saying “The actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved in the shooting of Thurman Blevins were clearly appropriate. Police officers protect our communities at extreme risk to themselves every day. We support and appreciate them. Those who claimed Blevins did not have a weapon or that officers acted improperly owe the officers an apology.”

Next, compare those statements with what Erin Murphy said:

As I watched the body camera footage of Thurman Blevins death, I was struck not only by the end of his life and the hard questions it raises, but by the beginning of the video. From the first moment officers are on scene they are loudly swearing, and threatening a man who appears to be sitting on a curb with a woman and child. From the first moment the police are shouting, scaring him, pushing him, and engaging in a way that led to the awful ending of his life.

He ran, yes. He was armed, yes. He reportedly was drunk and had fired shots, yes. All of those things might have led to his death, but none of them had to. I don’t understand why calmly starting a conversation wasn’t an option or wouldn’t have been a better course.

I don’t know much about Thurman Blevins. Had the officers approached the situation differently he might be in jail right now for firing his weapon into the sky and ground, or could be sitting on that curb with his family enjoying a morning off. I don’t know.

When a man (or woman) wields a gun, that officer has a responsibility to protect himself/herself and their partner. That isn’t a situation where the officers have a ton of options. It’s literally a kill-or-be-killed situation.

Notice how Rep. Murphy blames the officers, not Mr. Blevins. Rep. Murphy, if you were faced with this life-or-death situation, would you take a pacifist’s approach? Would you let a person who has a gun wave it around? If that’s truly what you’d do, there’s a high probability that you’d be shot. Further, by taking the pacifist’s approach, you’d put your partner’s life in jeopardy, too.

More protests are expected in Minneapolis over the decision not to charge officers involved in the June 23 deadly shooting of Thurman Blevins. The two Minneapolis officers involved say he pointed a gun at them during a short chase. CBS News’ Dean Reynolds spoke to Blevins’ sister and cousin who dispute the officers’ version of events. Blevins’ sister Darlynn and cousin Sydnee Brown admitted he had a gun on him but say he was scared for his life when he ran from police.

“It was the way that they approached him when they came out of the vehicle,” Darlynn said. “I mean, who else is not going to run if somebody is behind me telling me ‘I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to kill you.'”

First, here’s the police body cam video:

Then there’s this interview of Blevins’ family:

Let’s state something here emphatically. Gov. Dayton’s reckless statements after the Philando Castile shooting contribute each day to the tension between minority communities and police officers. Gov. Dayton said that “Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver were white? I don’t think it would have.” Since that day, tensions have escalated. Rep. Murphy’s statements just further escalate the tensions.

That’s inexcusable.