Updated: 5 days ago
March 8, 2023 - Robbinsdale police posted hours of body and squad cam footage on their YouTube page and announced the BCA will investigate the circumstances around Khalil Azad's death. A statement along with links to the videos are posted to the City of Robbinsdale's website. It says, in part, "In attempts to provide as much information as possible, the squad and body camera videos of the three Robbinsdale police officers involved that evening are being made public."
Khalil's family and representatives from MN Teen Activists saw the videos on March 6 and say they believe the original footage was tampered. "The dash camera footage presented to us did not show us the moments before the high-speed pursuit began... We also noticed parts of the audio cut out for significant amounts of time. In addition, we noticed skips, pauses, and freezes of the body camera footage, with multiple moments of blurriness... We are concerned because there were absolutely no time stamps on the footage we watched."
There will be a protest outside Robbinsdale Police Department from 3:30 to 6 p.m. today.
March 6, 2023 update
Robbinsdale police say they will release video footage of their encounter with Khalil Azad early next week. According to the police report, on July 3, 2022 at 1:30 in the morning, officer Tony Heifort began following Khalil’s vehicle on suspicion of DWI. Heifort states that Khalil fled from the driver’s seat after crashing the vehicle into a curb.
Despite assistance from a Plymouth Police K9 unit (see 2/27 press release below) and a State Patrol helicopter, Robbinsdale police report they did not locate Khalil. Two days later, his body was recovered from Crystal Lake which is the same area of the traffic stop. Robbinsdale Police Chief Patrick Foley said in a *Facebook post Friday evening:
Although a thorough investigation was completed last year, in an effort of transparency, we support an independent agency to review all relative evidence, reports, and information regarding this incident. The Robbinsdale Police Department has formally requested that the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension conduct an independent review. Further, Robbinsdale Police Department is in the process of gathering camera footage from the incident, and will be releasing it early next week.
Horrific images of Khalil's deceased body circulated online this week, prompting community to also call into question the legitimacy of the medical examiners determination that Khalil died by accidental freshwater drowning.
On Thursday, a large crowd gathered at Crystal Lake to remember Khalil. His mother, sister, brothers and the mother of his baby girl he never got to meet all spoke. Vigil organizers are also planning a protest for next Wednesday.
This is a developing story and will be updated as new information is available.
*The Facebook post with the above statement was removed soon after we published it Friday night. It was reposted at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.