Updated: 09/20/2013 12:44 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart
Photo: Photo: KSTP File Photo
A Hennepin County grand jury has cleared two Minneapolis police officers of any wrongdoing involving their roles in the shooting and killing of Terrance Franklin.
Jurors wrapped up hearing evidence last week regarding the shooting death of Franklin, 22, in a south Minneapolis basement last May. Twenty-three people on the grand jury deliberated on whether criminal charges should be brought against the Minneapolis officers.
In a rare move Thursday, the police department went step-by-step over the events that transpired on May 10.
There was a surveillance picture released Thursday that showed Franklin in an elevator in an apartment building he was accused of burglarizing.
Franklin then fled a traffic stop and broke into a house on Bryant Avenue, where he struggled with officers and a police dog in a cluttered basement of the home.
Police said Franklin grabbed one of the officer's guns and shot the officers. Two officers then returned fire, hitting Franklin eight times in the head, neck and torso.
Franklin was killed, and officers Ricardo Muro and Michael Meath were hit with gunfire. Both officers survived.
Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau said at a news conference, that she "fully supports" her officers' actions that day. "I am forever grateful the officers survived their wounds and they were not fatal. But make no mistake, those wounds - both physical and emotional - run deep for every officer who responded."
Sources within the police department told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS within hours after the incident on May 10 that Franklin was shot when he grabbed an officer's gun. Harteau confirmed on the record for the first time Thursday that forensic tests show Franklin's DNA was on the trigger of the police weapon used to shoot two officers.
Franklin's family has been pushing for charges against the police officers involved.
Mike Padden, the attorney for the family of Franklin, said he had been preparing the family of Franklin for months not to expect any indictment. Padden claims at least one of the officers involved has a "significant history" of issues with African Americans. Click here for that side of the story.
Harteau vehemently denies race was a factor. "Terrance Franklin's actions, not his race, dictated the outcome on May 10."
Harteau said in her mind there is no doubt the investigation is accurate and paints a picture that Franklin's actions led to his own death.
The grand jury's role was to determine if there was probable cause a crime was committed. Twelve or more jurors had to vote to indict the officers. Jurors did not issue a bill Thursday, meaning there was not enough evidence for probable cause.
As officers responded to the shootout that day, a Minneapolis police squad and a motorcycle crashed in south Minneapolis, killing the motorcycle driver, 24-year-old Ivan Romero.
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office is currently reviewing that case, which is standard procedure when a death occurs, police said Thursday.