Minnesota Teen Shot by Police Has Been Charged With Second-Degree Assault

Minnesota Teen Shot by Police Has Been Charged With Second-Degree Assault

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis releases a statement on behalf of Tania Harris.

Published April 27, 2015

In Robbinsdale, Minnesota, near Minneapolis, a teenager who was shot by police earlier this month has now been charged with second-degree assault.

Tania Harris, 18, was shot two times by a Minnesota police officer after an altercation broke out between Harris and three other teens. Harris’s mother, Kim Tolbert, called the police after three individuals showed up at her house to jump Harris. According to reports, Harris chased one of the women out of her house with a knife, threatening to kill her.

The report also says that Harris was commanded by officers to put the knife down. After failing to comply, she was shot. Harris’s father believes that shooting his teenage daughter was unnecessary.

“For police to have used such aggression … it was very tough,” Melik Tolbert said. “She’s not a violent person. It could have took something else, something other than a bullet.”

The teen, who has an 8-month-old daughter, was immediately rushed to the hospital after the incident, where her family and friends were denied seeing her. After protests from community members, her family was granted access.

“The police’s attempts to vilify Tania and immediately justify their unnecessary violence toward her in the media reflects a larger pattern in which Black victims of police shootings around the country have been demonized,” Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said in a statement. "We are witnessing a policing culture that insists on shooting first and asking questions later."

Harris remains in the hospital. However, her parents are looking to take legal action, citing that they were mistreated.

The officer involved in the shooting, whose name has not yet been released, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

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(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Written by By: Brea C. Mosley

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