Questions After Police Fatally Shoot Man Who Streamed Chase

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The live-streamed video of the final min­utes of Brian Quinones’ life before he was fatal­ly shot by police shows him calm­ly dri­ving a car and lis­ten­ing to music, run­ning at least one red light as he leads offi­cers on a chase through two Minneapolis sub­urbs.
At one point, the video shows, Quinones got out of the car with what appears to be a knife. Moments lat­er, some­one shout­ed an unin­tel­li­gi­ble com­mand and mul­ti­ple shots rang out. Quinones, 30, died at the scene.
His broth­er said after­ward that Quinones had been hav­ing sui­ci­dal thoughts.
The shoot­ing sparked a protest and raised ques­tions about whether police were too quick to shoot Quinones, and whether they could have used anoth­er means to stop him or help him if he was in cri­sis.

Shawn Price, 35, stopped Monday to pay his respects at a makeshift memo­r­i­al near where Quinones was shot. Price says based on what he heard in Quinones’ video, the num­ber of shots fired seemed to be “com­plete­ly in excess,” and he won­ders if police could have done more to de-esca­late the sit­u­a­tion. “There was no attempt at Taser or to do any oth­er method that would have pre­vent­ed, you know, this young man’s life being tak­en,” Price said.
Investigators released no new infor­ma­tion about the case Monday, includ­ing how many times Quinones was shot, or whether there was any attempt to use a stun gun. About 12 shots can be heard in the Quinones’ video. Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law pro­fes­sor, said dead­ly force should be a last resort and police need to assess a devel­op­ing sit­u­a­tion and look for a way to de-esca­late.

Could they have respond­ed to the sit­u­a­tion in dif­fer­ent ways that would not have put their safe­ty in dan­ger?” Futterman asked.
He said police are trained to use tac­tics such as time and dis­tance to avoid the need to use dead­ly force. National best prac­tices call for train­ing offi­cers on how to work with peo­ple who may be in cri­sis. It also has become best prac­tices for many depart­ments to have cri­sis inter­ven­tion teams to work with peo­ple who are in trou­ble.
Authorities began chas­ing Quinones late Saturday after they say he ran a red light and wouldn’t pull over. In the Livestream video, Quinones, who is from Puerto Rico but had lived in Minnesota for many years, can be seen glanc­ing in the rearview mir­ror, and some­times rap­ping along with the music before he gets out of the car. Before start­ing the live stream, he post­ed on Facebook, “So sor­ry.”

His younger broth­er, Joshua Quinones, told Minnesota Public Radio News on Sunday that he spoke to his broth­er before the pur­suit and could hear the “sad­ness in his voice.” He said his broth­er had sui­ci­dal thoughts and “had it all planned out.” After Brian hung up, Joshua and his sis­ter went to Brian’s apart­ment. He wasn’t there, but they found his live stream on Facebook. Joshua Quinones said his sis­ter had texted her broth­er things like, “Don’t do any­thing stu­pid.”

I just think that (police) could have done bet­ter. At least tase him with a Taser,” Joshua Quinones told MPR. “But real­ly, shoot him … That’s just too much.”
No police offi­cers were hurt. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is inves­ti­gat­ing and declined to com­ment on Monday. A state­ment released Sunday by the city of Edina says Quinones “con­front­ed offi­cers with a knife,” and the coun­ty med­ical exam­in­er said Quinones died of mul­ti­ple gun­shot wounds.
Five offi­cers — three from Richfield, two from Edina — were placed on paid leave, city offi­cials said.

Quinones’ video has been removed from Facebook but por­tions of it are on YouTube. It doesn’t show the shoot­ing. Authorities haven’t said whether there is squad car or body cam­era video of the inci­dent.

Bob Bennett, an attor­ney who rep­re­sents Quinones’ wife, said he wants to see those videos. He could not con­firm whether Quinones’ fam­i­ly called police about his men­tal state, and Joshua Quinones declined to talk to a reporter Monday.

David Klinger, chair­man of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Department at University of Missouri-St. Louis, said that while the men­tal state of an indi­vid­ual should play a fac­tor in how police man­age and con­trol a sit­u­a­tion, it’s imma­te­r­i­al when an offi­cer is faced with an immi­nent threat.

What dif­fer­ence does it make if the rea­son why a man is try­ing to kill you is because he hates you or because he thinks you are a demon who has been sent from anoth­er dimen­sion … if he is try­ing to kill you, you have a right to pro­tect your­self,” Klinger said.

Torri Hamilton, a civ­il rights attor­ney in Chicago, said police dis­patch record­ings would be key to find­ing out if fam­i­ly mem­bers called police and if police were made aware of con­cerns. She said any police video from squad cars or body cam­eras would also be impor­tant.

She point­ed to the case of Laquan McDonald, who had a knife in an inter­ac­tion with police in 2014, and was shot 16 times as he was walk­ing away. In that case, Chicago police offi­cer Jason Van Dyke was con­vict­ed of mur­der.

Unless they are con­front­ed with dead­ly force, they can­not use dead­ly force,” Hamilton said.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area has had sev­er­al police-involved shoot­ings in recent years that have sparked angry protests, includ­ing the 2016 killing of a black dri­ver, Philando Castile, by a police offi­cer in the Twin Cities sub­urb of Falcon Heights. Castile’s girl­friend streamed the imme­di­ate after­math of the shoot­ing live on Facebook.