The Minneapolis police department on Thursday released their 228-page investigative file on the May 10 shooting of Terrance Franklin, making public new details that explain the episode through the eyes of dozens of police officers who were at the scene. The report doesn't substantially change the police account of how Franklin died as it explains Franklin's flight from police, the search for him through an Uptown neighborhood, and the eventual confrontation that took place in the basement of a home where he was hiding.
The file was released to media shortly before the Franklin family held a press conference with their lawyer, Mike Padden, in which they reiterated their claims that Franklin was apprehended by police and then intentionally killed by a police officer motivated by a combination of racism and anger. Padden said the family intends to file a lawsuit in 30 days.
"I think this was primarily the act of one officer," said Padden, who did not name the officer.
The timing of the two events had little to do with each other: Padden said earlier this week that he planned to hold the press conference, and the police department released the file because it became public after the Hennepin County grand jury concluded their deliberations last week, deciding that there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges in Franklin's death.
Hours after the grand jury's decision was released, the Minneapolis police held a press conference to distribute key facts of their investigation. According to the police account: Franklin, once he was found hiding in the basement of a house in the 2700 block of Bryant Av. S., charged at officers. He got his hand onto the trigger of an MP5 machine pistol that was hanging on a shoulder strap of one of the officers. He fired the gun twice and hit two officers in the legs before he was killed by police returning fire.
The police said he was hit by eight bullets fired by two officers. An autopsy from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office said he was hit by ten bullets, one of which grazed him. The police department has not yet responded to questions asking about the disparity.
Franklin's family, in preparation for a likely civil lawsuit, will hold a press conference later today. The family and their lawyer, Mike Padden, have alleged that Franklin was apprehended by police in the basement, that the two officers who were injured were hit by friendly fire or in an accident, and that Franklin was then shot by police while in custody.