Does iPod Touch Video Tell a Different Story Than Cops Did?

'Time' digs in to the 2013 shooting death of Terrance Franklin
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2021 10:00 AM CDT

Bodycams weren't a normal part of police gear in 2013, so it's unsurprising that the only view Terrance Franklin's family had into his death in a Minneapolis basement was the word of the five police officers who were on the scene and shot him. Initially, that is. A man who happened upon the scene heard a pair of "booms" and began filming with his iPod Touch, capturing the sounds coming from the basement. As Karl Vick and Josiah Bates write in a lengthy piece for Time, a divergent pair of stories emerged: In the police telling, cops responded to a 2pm 911 call about a man in a car outside an apartment building that had days earlier been burglarized. It was Franklin. Police responded and reported that Franklin attempted to hit a cop as he fled, hid in a home's basement, attacked the police dog who found him, punched and attacked responding cops, and then managed to pull the trigger of the MP5 submachine gun one officer was wearing, shooting two cops. The return fire was immediate, they said, and Franklin ended up dead.

Then, there's the story pieced together by the footage that does exist. A surveillance camera outside the apartment building shows Franklin's car slowly backing away from the officer, in the process "nudging shut" the patrol-car door she had left open. As for the iPod video, "Franklin could hardly have been killed in a brief struggle for a gun if there’s evidence he was still alive on the recording," and there seems to be: "My name is Mookie!"—Franklin's nickname—is heard. "Get out of here..." "Damn freakin'..." "Let me go!" "Stand up!" "Come out..." "...Put those hands up now." The competing narrative that emerged: The two officers were accidentally shot by a third, and Franklin was killed as part of a cover-up. "This was a straight-up execution," says an attorney for the family, who received $795,000 from the city. They say justice would be the officers being prosecuted, which could potentially happen; prosecutors in May asked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to consider investigating. (Read the full piece for more.)

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