Two police officers involved in Terrance Franklin death receive award
Officers Ricardo Muro, center left, and Michael Meath, after receiving their honors on Saturday.
Minneapolis Police Department via Facebook
In the confusion after the police chase and shooting that left 22-year-old Terrance Franklin dead on May 10, one thing quickly became clear: Two police officers had been shot and rushed to Hennepin County Medical Center.
On Saturday, the two officers -- Michael Meath and Ricardo Muro -- received an honor for their service: the Purple Heart from the Military Order of the Purple Heart's First Responder program, an award bestowed on Minnesota officers killed or injured in the line of duty.
"Congratulations to both officers for their sacrifice, service and heroism," the MPD posted on its Facebook page.
Both officers are members of the MPD SWAT team, and neither is a stranger to department praise. Since joining the department in October 2001, Muro has racked up two notices as "Special Operations Division Officer of the Month," as well as a Medal of Commendation in 2008, and the Life Saving Award in 2012. Meath, an MPD officer since August 2005, has a similar shelf of medals, including two letters of recognition, plus a special award for his work during the 2007 35W bridge collapse.
The afternoon of May 10, Muro and Meath, along with three other officers and a police dog, were pursuing Franklin when they entered a home at 27th Street and Bryant Avenue South. After searching the house, they found Franklin hiding in the basement. According to the police's account, following a struggle, Franklin gained control of one of the officers' guns, and fired off two rounds. One struck Muro, and the other hit Meath in the legs.
"I remember feeling extremely scared as if I was going to die in the basement along with Officer [Luke] Peterson," Meath later told investigators. "I immediately knew that I had to tend to my gunshot wound. I remember feeling extremely scared because I knew I only had 30 seconds to get the tourniquet on."
Both Meath and Peterson made the decision to use deadly force against Franklin, the police account says.
After reviewing the results of the investigation, a Hennepin County Grand Jury decided not to press charges against the officers, but the events that afternoon remain controversial. Franklin's parents have said they plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
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