The St. Paul Police Department released the body camera footage Tuesday of the fatal officer-involved shooting of 31-year-old Ronald Davis on Sept. 15. The incident began shortly before 6 p.m., when Davis reportedly rear-ended a St. Paul police squad car near the intersection on Thomas Avenue West and North Griggs Street. According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and St. Paul police, both men exited their vehicles and Davis confronted the officer, identified as Officer Steven Mattson. Davis allegedly ignored repeated commands to drop the knife and at one point during the encounter, Mattson fired his weapon, killing Davis. Mattson, who has been with the police department for less than a year, was uninjured and was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting. He remains on standard administrative leave.
The BCA is still investigating the deadly shooting. Amid growing pressure for transparency, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell made the decision to release the body camera video—one of the fastest turnarounds of footage in the city’s recent history. Last year, Axtell released body camera video in the officer-involved shooting of Billy Hughes 12 days after it occurred. He made the footage public in an effort to dispel rumors and calm protests. Axtell said last week that he is releasing the video now because part of the BCA’s investigation is complete. The BCA said it has no position regarding police releasing the body camera video. However, once it the video is released, the BCA said its investigators would not be able to ensure the integrity of statements from witnesses who come forward after they have seen the video