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Protesters demand Freeman charge officers in Brian Quinones' shooting death

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Protesters demand charges against officers.
Demonstrators gather outside the home of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman on Tuesday to protest his decision not to charge five suburban police officers in the fatal shooting of Brian Quinones.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

Supporters of a man fatally shot in a confrontation with police last September demanded Tuesday that authorities bring criminal charges against the officers after Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that five Richfield and Edina officers involved in the incident were justified in shooting Brian Quinones last September.

In front of Freeman’s southwest Minneapolis home about two dozen people held banners and called on Freeman to answer their demands.

Daphne Brown of Minneapolis said police should be held accountable more often.

“Not only the murders that they’ve committed, but the citizens that they have harassed and they’re abusing out on our streets. I want all the officers guilty of all their crimes to be charged, convicted, and sentenced,” Brown said.

Freeman did not speak with the protesters, nor has he given interviews about his decision not to charge the officers.

In a statement, he noted that the incident was tragic, but said Quinones threatened several officers with a knife and refused their orders to drop the weapon. Freeman said the officers’ use of deadly force was “necessary, proportional, and objectively reasonable” under Minnesota law.

Quinones’ family members feared the 30-year-old husband and father had been feeling suicidal, and have questioned why police couldn’t subdue him without resorting to lethal force.

Just after 10 p.m. on Sept. 7, Quinones was driving erratically along Normandale Frontage Road near 77th Street, when Edina police officer Nicholas Pedersen tried to pull him over.

As he sped along the street with his music turned up, Quinones held his phone in his hand and livestreamed video on Facebook. Pedersen followed and recorded video simultaneously on his squad car’s dash camera.

Quinones refused to pull over, but eventually stopped after the pursuit entered Richfield. Pedersen got out of his squad, drew his gun and shouted, “He’s got a knife! Drop it. Drop the knife! Get on the ground!”

Dashcam video shows a man approaching an officer with a knife.
A screenshot taken from the dashcam video of Edina police officer Nicholas Pedersen seconds before Brian Quinones was shot and killed in September.
Hennepin County Attorney's Office

None of the officers who responded that night were wearing body cameras. But Pedersen’s squad video shows Quinones with his right arm raised apparently holding a knife, advancing toward the officer as the two step out of the frame. Additional video from a Richfield squad car shows Quinones running at an officer before firing 10 or 11 shots.

It’s not audible on the recording, but the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office says when Richfield officer Dylan Schultz discharged his Taser in an unsuccessful attempt to subdue Quinones, he pointed the knife at Schultz, ran at him,and screamed “Kill me, kill me!”

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says seven bullets struck Quinones, who was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.