MINNEAPOLIS – The two officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black man in Minneapolis, served in the army and have been recognized numerous times for their work as police, according to the redacted personnel files released on Friday by the local police station.
Officers Ryan Kelly and Justin Schmidt are on paid administrative leave following Saturday’s shooting death of Thurman Blevins Jr., 31. The authorities said both officers fired their weapons to chase Blevins in an alley. Researchers have said Kelly and Ryan were responding to at least one report of a man firing a gun and that a weapon was recovered at the scene. But some witnesses said Blevins with a bottle or cup.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey previously said the body camera video would be released “in the near future.”
According to personnel files released Friday, Schmidt a member of the department in 2014 after a visit to the air force from 2001 to 2013. He also worked at Gander Mountain, where he said on his cv that he managed the shooting range and gave use-of-force training for civilians and law enforcement. Schmidt’s background also includes volunteer work as a tutor and mentor for the Somali children on a south American non-profit.
Schmidt was selected as the 5th District Officer of the Month twice and nominated several times. Schmidt also received the Chief’s Award of Merit in 2017 as part of the 2016 bike rapid response team.
Kelly joined the police in 2013 after several law enforcement and security jobs. Kelly is also a certified paramedic and was an EMS instructor at Hennepin County Medical Center, according to his cv. His cv said he started with the Army National Guard combat medic in 2008.
While on the Minneapolis force, Kelly has received two lifesaving awards and a Medal of Commendation for an incident in which he and the other officers were able to get topics of a man, high on a hallucinogen, and the carrying of a loaded gun. Kelly also has SWAT training, and received an Award of Merit for being part of a team of officers that tested and evaluated the department’s body cameras in 2015.
The data released earlier this week shows both officers also have complaints against them. Kelly had five complaints filed against him. All were closed without discipline.
Schmidt had three complaints filed against him were closed without discipline and remains open. Details about the complaints were not available.
Minneapolis has been rocked by two high-profile fatal police shootings in the past few years, including the November 2015-images of the 24-year-old Jamar Clark, and last July’s shooting of 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond. Officials in the Clark case, were not charged, and the trial is pending for the police officer who shot Damond.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com