St. Paul, MN — The St. Paul Police Department has released the footage from the body camera worn during a shooting on September 15th that left one man dead.
Ronald Davis, 31, was shot by Officer Steven Mattson during the incident which happened around 6:00 pm.
The police report says that Ronald Davis rear-ended a police squad car near Thomas Avenue W and N Griggs Street.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and St. Paul police described the incident in their report.
They said that each man had exited his own vehicle, and that Davis had aggressively confronted Officer Mattson.
Davis ignored commands to drop his knife, and when Davis would not, Officer Mattson shot and killed him.
Mattson was placed on administrative leave as a matter of routine.
The St. Paul police reported that he had been with the department for less than a year.
Community Organizers Organize Outrage
Almost immediately, protestors in St. Paul began to cry foul.
Citizens marched down the neighborhood street where Davis was shot. They claimed Davis had been shot in cold blood.
The Police department, hoping to get ahead of the buzz and prevent it from growing, released the body camera footage.
Police Chief Todd Axtell acknowledged that the turnaround time was so short in order to “dispel rumors and calm protests.”
At a press conference Tuesday, September 24, Axtell said he could not stand by “knowing that a good officer, and all of our officers, are being assailed by people who don’t have the facts.”
“I remain hopeful that quickly releasing this video will allow us to move forward with mature discourse about how such tragedies can be prevented in the future — without having to wade through the waters of irresponsible accusations of murder, calculated cries of injustice and threats made against an officer who had no choice but to defend himself against an immediate and violent attack,” Axtell said.
The investigator is still ongoing, but hopefully the streets of St. Paul can settle down with the release of the body camera footage.
Stand Your Ground For Everybody, Not Just Police!
Minnesota is not a Stand Your Ground state, and gun owners in states without Stand your ground law should realize that if they were in Officer Mattson’s shoes, they would likely be facing charges.
Stand Your Ground law recognizes your right to defend yourself from attack in any place you had a legal right to be.
Without it, you have an obligation to try to retreat.
When you think of it that way, an average citizen who shot and killed somebody else would not have body camera footage to tell their side of the story.
No, Joe the Plumber—without footage to exonerate him and without Stand Your Ground to give him protection in our legal system—would almost certainly be facing charges.
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