Crime, Law and Justice

Hennepin County Attorney asks for state review of 2013 fatal police shooting

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office has asked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to review the 2013 fatal police shooting of Terrance Franklin in Minneapolis.

Franklin was wanted for questioning in a burglary case in May 2013 when Minneapolis police officers chased him through a south Minneapolis neighborhood before cornering him in the basement of a home. Officers shot and killed him.

Police said Franklin grabbed one of the officers' guns and wounded two of the officers during a struggle.

Terrance Franklin
Terrance Franklin, 22, of Minneapolis, shown in an undated family photo. Franklin was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officers in May 2013.
Photo courtesy of Starr Reynolds

But a lawsuit filed by Franklin's family in 2014 — and settled with a $795,000 payout by the city in February 2020 — alleged that Franklin, 22, was trying to surrender at the time police shot him.

The shooting occurred before police officers were equipped with body cameras, and in the wake of the shooting a Hennepin County grand jury declined to issue charges against the officers involved.

But in a statement provided to MPR News on Saturday, the office of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said it had reviewed new evidence "that was not available to us at the time we took the case to the grand jury. As a result, we sent a letter in early May to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension suggesting they should consider doing a new investigation. The BCA was not the original investigating agency so they would be taking an outside, independent look."

News of Freeman's request was first reported by Time magazine, which recounted the shooting in a lengthy article published Friday.

The Time article cites a video taken by a bystander across the street from the home, which captured snippets of voices during or immediately after the shooting. The video was publicized in the months after the shooting — but the Time article says further analysis of the tape raised more questions about the officers' account of what happened. As did a forensic investigation by a firearms expert, of the gunshots fired that day.

The evidence was raised in the Franklin family's lawsuit against the city — and then in a May 4 letter from Freeman to BCA Superintendent Drew Evans, asking for the review. The letter was first reported in the Time article.

The Franklin family's attorney, Michael Padden, told the Star Tribune that "I'm hopeful that whoever investigates this case will do it objectively."

The BCA reported Saturday that it has "received a request from the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. We are currently evaluating what our involvement in the case would be, if any."