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Murphy has questions about Blevins video

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DFL candidate for governor Erin Murphy spoke briefly about the body camera video of the shooting death of Thurman Blevins during a campaign news conference on another topic. Tim Pugmire|MPR News

DFL candidate for governor Erin Murphy says after watching the body camera video of the police shooting of Thurman Blevins she has questions about the aggressive reaction of Minneapolis police.

Murphy, a state representative from St. Paul, initially responded to the video release on social media and did again briefly Tuesday during a campaign news conference on an unrelated topic.

“I looked at the tape,” Murphy said. “I wondered right away about the emergence of the law enforcement officers out of the vehicle with a sense of aggression.”

Murphy declined to discuss specifics, saying she needed more time to think about the Blevins video. But she noted a recent incident in South St. Paul where police were able to apprehend a man who fired a gun at them.

Murphy also told reporters that as governor she would push for investments aimed at preventing fatal police shootings.

“I hope that we are able to make the progress we need to make in the state of Minnesota by continuing to invest in Local Government Aid and the training and de-escalation tactics that I think will help in these situations,” she said.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton joined Murphy at the campaign event. He declined to make any comments about the body camera video or the shooting.

Murphy is facing Lori Swanson and Tim Walz in the Aug. 14 DFL primary. Neither of her rivals have commented on the video.

Both Republican candidates for governor weighed in.

Jeff Johnson, the GOP-endorsed candidate said the video “shows clearly” that Blevins had a gun.

“The Minneapolis officer involved did everything he could to convince Blevins to surrender before firing his weapon,” Johnson said.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty also defended the police officers’ actions.

‘Those who claimed Blevins did not have a weapon or that officer acted improperly owe the officers an apology,” Pawlenty said.