Minneapolis police fatally shoot man during traffic stop

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Police in Minneapolis shot and killed a man during a traffic stop on the city’s south side on Wednesday night, stirring anxiety about renewed protests following the first police-involved death in the city since George Floyd’s death while being arrested in May.

Police said the man died in an exchange of gunfire, and Chief Medaria Arradondo said witnesses said the man fired first.

He said the officers’ body cameras were turned on and promised to release the video on Thursday.

“I want our communities to see that so they can see for themselves,” he said.

“Please allow me, the (state) investigators, allow us the time, let us get the evidence, get the facts, so we can process this.”

Police spokesman John Elder said the incident happened about 6.15pm while officers were carrying out a traffic stop with a man suspected of a felony. Police did not provide details of the supposed felony nor release any information about the man, including his race.

Police Shooting Minneapolis
Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder addresses media and members of the public after the shooting (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune/AP)

Mr Elder said no officers were hurt. He said he did not know how many officers were at the scene carrying out the traffic stop or how many were involved in the shooting.

The shooting happened less than a mile from the street corner where Mr Floyd, a black man, died in May after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for minutes, even as Floyd pleaded that he could not breathe.

Mr Floyd’s death sparked days of often violent Black Lives Matter protests that spread around the US and to many other countries.

In Minneapolis, Mr Floyd’s death also led to a push for radical change in the police department, long criticised by activists for what they called a brutal culture that resisted change.

A push by some City Council members to replace the department with a new public safety unit failed in the summer.

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