During a news conference yesterday, the family of Terrence Franklin and a lawyer representing them touted a video they say shows Minneapolis cops using the N-word while they approached the Bryant Avenue South home where Franklin was shot and killed during a May 10 altercation with officers.
After showing reporters the video, attorney Mike Padden wondered aloud, "Was this incident racially motivated? I don't know. [But] a lot of folks think this department has a problem with racism and that it is endemic."
[jump] As the Pioneer Press writes, "Padden claims officers can be heard using a racial slur twice -- one saying 'watch out' for the suspect and the other saying 'damn freaking,' followed by the racial epithet."
"Two officers are uttering the N-word in public," Padden said. "I think that's pretty chilling."
The video clip was recorded by a neighborhood resident. The person who filmed it told KSTP he doesn't recall any racial slurs being used.
Without further ado, here's the footage (the alleged racial slurs happen between 20 and 30 seconds in):
In a statement, MPD Chief Janeé Harteau characterized the allegation officers used the N-word as "not only preposterous but without merit" and demanded an apology from Padden. From her statement:
The video in question shows both MPD and Metro Transit officers. Chief Harrington and I have viewed the video multiple times, amplifying the audio, and hear absolutely no racial epithets whatsoever. The reality is, the comments made by the responding officers were appropriate and clearly relate to aiding the injured officers with a tourniquet.During yesterday's newser, Padden and Franklin's family also expressed skepticism about reports Franklin fired the shots that injured two officers before he was shot and killed.
At 26 seconds an officer asks for a tourniquet. This is followed by an officer saying, "I've got a tourniquet right here." An officer then responds about needing a tourniquet in the alley. This video is accessible on Youtube to the public, and we encourage people to view it for themselves.
"The kid was not suicidal," Padden said, implying that Franklin would've known he'd likely be shot if he made a move for an officer's weapon.
Franklin's father, Walter Franklin, said his son's autopsy revealed he was shot five times in the back of the head. The MPD still hasn't provided an official account of what happened to Franklin in the Bryant Avenue basement.
Franklin's family is reportedly considering a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.