Four of the five police officers placed on leave following the shooting death of Brian J. Quinones have returned to duty.
The officers were put on paid administrative leave after police shot Quinones Sept. 7 in Richfield, following a pursuit that began in Edina. According to Edina Police, Quinones, a 30-year-old Richfield resident, confronted officers with a knife before they opened fire.
Richfield Officers Macabe Stariha and Dylan Schultz returned to their regular patrol duties last week, while Richfield Officer Joseph Carroll remains on leave, according to city of Richfield spokesperson Neil Ruhland.
Edina Officers Benjamin Wenande and Nicholas Pedersen returned to their normal patrol shifts Sept. 21 and Sept. 24, respectively, according to city of Edina spokesperson Jennifer Bennerotte.
Quinones video-recorded the moments preceding his death while streaming the chase on Facebook Live. From a perspective of inside the vehicle, the recording continued after the vehicle came to a stop on East 77th Street near Chicago Avenue. Although the recording did not visually capture Quinones being struck by gunfire after exiting the vehicle, several shots can be heard. Quinones was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police squad vehicles with working dash cameras from both departments were present at the scene, but that footage has not yet been released. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the shooting, and the dash camera footage will become public when the investigation is complete, Bennerotte stated.
At the Oct. 1 Edina City Council meeting, Richfield resident Chara Blanch was joined by friends and family of Quinones as she demanded the footage be released within a week, with Quinones’ family afforded the opportunity to see it first.
Speaking during the council meeting’s public comment period, Blanch, who described herself as “someone who knew Brian, though not very well,” also demanded that the officers who shot Quinones be fired and that the city of Edina support second-degree murder charges against the officers.
Blanch also demanded that the city of Edina institute a body-camera program by the beginning of 2020.
Blanch did not say what will happen if the demands are not met.
Prior to the shooting, Edina had plans to start using body cameras next year. The Richfield Police Department is running a body-camera program on a pilot basis. According to both departments, no body cameras were present at the scene of the shooting.
There have been two Richfield City Council meetings since the Quinones killing, but no one has attended those meetings to publicly issue demands similar to those made in Edina this week. Blanch did not indicate whether similar demands will be made of Richfield Police.
– Follow Andrew Wig on Twitter @EdinaSunCurrent