Family demands charges in shooting during Floyd protests

An attorney and family members of Calvin Horton at a press conference.
Attorney Ben Crump and about three dozen of Calvin Horton Jr.'s supporters, including his children and mother, speak during a press conference on Tuesday, calling for charges in Horton's death on May 27. Crump says they're still asking why man who shot their father during civil unrest hasn't been charged.
Jon Collins | MPR News

Updated: 7:40 p.m.

The family of a man shot to death during civil unrest in south Minneapolis in May is demanding investigators release information about the shooting and that prosecutors charge the shooter.

Saying they want justice, family members of Calvin Horton Jr. held a news conference the same day that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said prosecutors need to know what happened in the minutes surrounding the fatal shooting of Horton on the evening of May 27. The shooting happened two days after George Floyd, a handcuffed Black man, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for several minutes.

"We seem to be reminded over and over again that there are two types of justice in America, one for black America and one for white America,” said attorney Ben Crump, who represents Horton's family. 

Horton was shot in the torso in or near Cadillac Pawn while protests over Floyd's death began to turn violent and looters broke into businesses.

The pawn shop owner was arrested the night of the shooting, was held in the Hennepin County Jail for several days and released pending further investigation. The Hennepin County Attorney’s office has urged any witnesses to Horton's killing to come forward.

The family and supporters of Horton on Tuesday rallied outside Cadillac Pawn, demanding charges against the pawn shop owner.

Crump said Horton's family has gotten “no answers” from government officials about his death, despite dozens of calls. Horton, who would have turned 44 on Tuesday, left behind his mother and seven children, including 8-year-old twin sons.

“His life matters to all of his children, each and every one of them, his entire family. So we're here to declare that Calvin Horton's life matters,” Crump said, before leading people in a chant of “Calvin Horton's life matters.”

“We're absolutely heartbroken,” Horton's daughter, Cadaezhah Horton, 20, said. “And we're left to feel as if we're the ones in prison. We want justice for my dad, and we aren't going to stop until we see it.”

“The only thing I want is justice,” said Horton's mother, Mae Roberts. “Nothing is being done for my son.”

Freeman said that so far authorities have only one witness who saw part of the encounter and have not found any surveillance camera video showing what happened.

“We need the help of anyone who was in or around Cadillac Pawn at the time of the shooting,” Freeman said. “We need to know what happened several minutes before the shooting and then the shooting itself.”

The scene was chaotic that night, with many people in and around the pawn shop, Freeman said. Some of those people pelted police officers as they tried to render first aid to Horton and attacked them with objects as they tried to investigate the crime scene, he added. The officers retreated and investigators were unable to safely return until the next day.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.