MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A jury on Tuesday acquitted a Minneapolis police officer who shot at a car full of club-goers nearly two years ago.
The Hennepin County jury deliberated over two days before finding officer Efrem Hamilton not guilty of second-degree assault and intentional discharge of a firearm. No one was hurt, but prosecutors still charged Hamilton.
County Attorney Mike Freeman said he was disappointed but accepts the verdict.
“We continue to believe that Officer Hamilton should not have fired that shot at a car full of people within seconds of getting out of his car. We do not believe this was good police work and hope not to see such carelessness in the future,” Freeman said in a statement.
Hamilton was off duty when he went to assist with a shots fired call near Target Field in November 2016. His squad car collided with a BMW driving in reverse to get away from the chaotic scene.
The Star Tribune reports Hamilton testified he heard the car’s engine revving and feared for his life. Prosecutors argued that the sound could have come from any number of cars in the area.
Six people were in the car. City officials later settled with the car’s occupants for $150,000.