Man Reportedly in Crisis Killed by Minneapolis Police

Minneapolis, MN — Minneapolis Police killed a man who they say was “acting irrationally” and not obeying direct orders to drop a weapon he was holding around 9:30 p.m. on June 12. The victim was publicly identified on June 14 as 39-year-old Michael Ristow. He was killed by three officers who are now on critical incident leave. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is investigating the killing and said the officers were:

  • Enoch Langford. He has four years of law enforcement experience.
  • Abdirizaq Mumin. He has almost two years of law enforcement experience.
  • Chaz Wilson. He has five years of law enforcement experience.

According to the police, callers told a 911 dispatcher around 9:03 p.m. that a man was armed with a gun and “talking to himself” on East Lake Street and 29th Avenue. A short time later at 9:19 p.m., another 911 call was made from several blocks away at 34th Street and Hiawatha Avenue. Police said they responded, engaged in a foot pursuit with the man, ordered the man to drop the gun and then shot him for not following orders.

Image of BCA Crime Lab truck and authorities’ vehicles on Hiawatha Avenue between 34th and 35th St. at the scene of where Minneapolis Police killed a man on June 12, 2024.

MPD Chief Brian O’Hara said several times in a press conference that his officers killed the man who was “not acting normally” because he didn’t drop his gun. A gun was recovered at the scene that “appeared to be jammed,” said O’Hara. Details of the make and model have not been made public yet, neither has any video of the incident. O’Hara said based on the information presented to him, he has “no other reason than to think this is a justifiable and lawful use of force by police officers.”

The BCA released a statement on the killing when they identified the killers and the deceased. Their statement goes as follows: “According to the preliminary investigation, officers responded after a 911 caller reported being threatened by a man with a gun. When they arrived, they saw the man, later identified as Ristow, and tried to make contact with him. He ran away and the officers chased after him while telling him he was under arrest. Ristow came up to a fence line and turned toward the officers with a gun in his hand. All three officers fired, striking Ristow.”

This is the second person killed by Minneapolis Police (MPD) in the last two weeks. On May 30, Mustafa Mohamed was killed by MPD after he fatally shot three people, including responding MPD Officer Jamal Mitchell. He also shot another officer.

Authorities in Minnesota have killed at least eight people in 2024: Lucas Gilbertson, Jan. 9 in Rhinehart Township; Michael Yanacheak, Jan. 29 in Willmar; Jeffrey Chapman, Mar. 2 in St. Michael; Clint Hoyhtya, Apr. 10 in Minnetonka; Pepsi Heinl, May 6 in St. Paul; Andrew Dale, May 16 in Polk County; along with the previously mentioned Mohamed and the new unnamed victim.

At least two of those killed in 2024 — Andrew Dale and Pepsi Heinl — were experiencing mental crises at the time of police interactions. In Heinl’s case, police responded to a “suicide in progress” and fatally shot Heinl upon entering the house after she produced a gun.

In Minneapolis, twenty-three months ago, police killed Tekle Sundberg on July 13, 2022, during a six-hour standoff as he was experiencing a crisis in his South Minneapolis apartment. Sundberg was fatally shot by MPD snipers on the roof of a building across the street.

Related – Exclusive: Tekle Sundberg’s Parents Recall the Moments Snipers from the Minneapolis Police ‘Executed’ Their Son [2023]

For years, mental health advocates across the country have been demanding that police not be the first responders to mental crisis calls. Individuals with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed by police during an encounter.

As police continue to kill record numbers of Americans each year — at least 1,247 were killed in 2023 — about a quarter of those killed are people with a serious mental illness and almost half have some form of disability.

In Minnesota, Travis’ Law (MN Statute 403.03, Subd. 1b) was passed in 2021 to have mental health crisis teams be part of the state’s emergency response services. The law was named after Travis Jordan, who was killed by Minneapolis Police responding to a mental crisis call by Jordan’s girlfriend. The Mental Health Work Group of Minneapolis-based police watchdog non-profit, Communities United Against Police Brutality, state that in a three-week period between November and December 2018, Minnesota police killed “five people experiencing mental health crisis.”

Wednesday night’s killing comes amid the MPD obtaining a new three-year contract that, if approved, would give police officers nearly a 22-percent raise in compensation, retroactively applied to Jan. 1, 2023.

The contract was negotiated as MPD is under a forced policing agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights and an agreement with Department of Justice (DOJ) after investigations found the police treated the residents of Minneapolis with violence and widespread discrimination and are largely “not accountable for racist conduct.” The DOJ had recommended 28 measures to improve public safety and comply with the country’s laws.

This is a developing story. Updates were made on June 16 with names of the deceased and the killers along with BCA’s statement.

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