No Charges Against Brooklyn Center Officers Involved in Fatal Shooting
The Brooklyn Center police officers involved in a fatal shooting last August will not face charges, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.
Officers shot and killed 21-year-old Kobe Dimock-Heisler on Aug. 31, 2019. According to a report by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, the officers who fired six shots at Dimock-Heisler “had a reasonable fear that two other officers and Dimock-Heisler’s grandmother were in danger of death or great bodily harm as the young man attacked with a knife.”
The two officers who fired the shots were Cody Turner and Brandon Akers. According to the report based on an investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, officers initially responded when Dimock-Heisler and his grandfather went to a Wendy’s restaurant. Dimock-Heisler, who suffered from mental illness and was on the autism spectrum, had become hostile when an employee at the restaurant had gotten their order wrong. He yelled at employees despite attempts by his grandfather to get him to stop, the report said.
The yelling continued when Dimock-Heisler and the grandfather arrived back home. The report said Dimock-Heisler retrieved a knife and hammer and told his grandfather to apologize for what he said at the restaurant. The grandfather became scared and called 911 after slipping into a back bedroom.
Report: Situation Went from Calm to Violent
Officers Turner and Akers responded to the Brooklyn Center home. The officers were aware of a previous incident at the home in which Dimock-Heisler had stabbed himself in the stomach, the report said. When they arrived the situation had calmed down and Dimock-Heisler’s grandmother turned over the hammer and knife to officer Turner, the report said. Another responding officer, Joseph Vu, spoke with Dimock-Heisler while Turner and Akers met with the grandfather outside the house. During the conversation with Dimock-Heisler, Vu learned that Dimock-Heisler had been placed on a 30-day mental health commitment and he “did not want to go back.” The Brooklyn Center man became upset and suddenly ran toward his grandmother, the report said.
A fourth officer, Stephen Holt, and Vu tried to stop Dimock-Heisler to protect the grandmother. The officers outside heard the commotion and Turner used a Taser on Dimock-Heisler, but it had no effect, the report said. Officers Holt and Akers also fired their Tasers, but with little success to defuse the situation. Dimock-Heisler then reached into a couch and retrieved another knife, the report said. At that time, the BCA report says Dimock-Heisler tried to stab officer Vu who was hanging on to the man’s lower legs. That’s when officers Turner and Akers each fired their handguns three times each, striking Dimock-Heisler in his chest and neck.
Body Cameras Capture Incident
All the Brooklyn Center officers activated their body-worn cameras capturing video of the incident, the report said. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and two other prosecutors who reviewed the case determined officers Turner and Akers satisfied the conditions in Minnesota law “because it was necessary to protect themselves and their partners from apparent death or great bodily harm.”
“We are saddened by the death of Mr. Dimock-Heisler and we have extended our sympathies to his grandfather and grandmother who have raised him since age 6,” Freeman said in a statement. “However, the four Brooklyn Center police officers who initially responded to the scene used de-escalation tactics and seemed to have calmed down Mr. Dimock-Heisler. Even when he sprang from his chair, grabbed a knife and attempted to stab one of the officers, three officers fired their Tasers, with no effect. Then, and only then, did they fire their guns.”