A man carrying a raised knife charged at a St. Paul police officer after rear-ending his squad car and refused repeated commands to drop the weapon before the officer fatally shot him, according to body-camera footage released Tuesday.
St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell stands behind an officer’s use of deadly force in the fatal shooting of Ronald Davis, 31.
“An officer who had no choice but to defend himself against an immediate and violent threat,” Axtell said.
The death of Davis, who was black, led to a demonstration a week later by several dozen protesters who called for an end to police shootings.
“When we make mistakes, the St. Paul Police Department has a proven record of taking responsibility,” Chief Todd Axtell said at a news conference. “However, this is not one of those times.”
Mayor Melvin Carter said Tuesday he watched the body camera footage and saw an “incredibly dangerous and scary event that no person and certainly no officer would ever hope to encounter.”
“I see officer Mattson defending himself while retreating, and as a son of a police officer … I can’t say I can see anything beyond that we could have expected him to do,” Carter said.