The Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police is strongly criticizing a Minneapolis City Council decision to pay recompense to the family of a man, Terrance Franklin, killed in a 2013 police shooting. The law enforcement advocacy group posted on Facebook that the Council’s decision was a “giant slap in the face to the police in Minneapolis,” and that the payout to Franklin’s family was “likely greater than the insurance policies offered the officers protecting the city [if they are slain].”
Initial reports say that the settlement will total almost $800,000.
Terrance Franklin, a black man, was 22 years old in 2013 when he was killed by police officers. A burglary the day prior had led to a lengthy police chase, which ended at a home in south Minneapolis. Officers say that Franklin, in an attempt to flee, was trying to break into the home in question.
Police say Franklin wrestled a gun away from an officer, and subsequently shot and wounded two officers. That resulted in police shooting Franklin dead.
Yet Franklin’s family alleges in a lawsuit that an officer used a racial slur against Franklin, and that Franklin did not try to shoot the two officers—instead, the two officers were injured by the “accidental discharge” of a SWAT team member’s gun.
Police advocates say the lawsuit’s version of events is preposterous at face-value, and deny that any officer used a racial slur. They view the lawsuit as an admission of guilt, that may even threaten cops lives going forward.
It is unclear whether the Franklin family lawsuit had any merit. In 2013, a grand jury said officers were justified in using deadly force. And in DNA evidence also linked Franklin to a gun found hidden in a sock near the scene—the gun was involved in the robbery that had occurred the day prior.
Because of this—and the fact that two officers were seriously injured during the incident—police groups are up in arms. And while the Minneapolis Council has said that body cameras would negate the need for this controversy, police officer advocates are stunned that the existing facts don’t exonerate the police in this incident.
The Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police compared the environment facing cops today to the treatment of Vietnam War vets after they returned home from the war.