Charges demanded in protests shooting

Published 6:50 am Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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MINNEAPOLIS — The family of a man fatally shot at a Minneapolis pawn shop during protests over the death of George Floyd demanded charges in his death Tuesday.

Saying they want justice, family members of Calvin Horton Jr. held a news conference the same day that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said prosecutors need to know what happened in the minutes surrounding the fatal shooting of Horton on the evening of May 27. The shooting happened two days after a handcuffed Floyd, who was Black, died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.

Horton was shot in the torso in or near Cadillac Pawn while protests over Floyd’s death began to turn violent  with gunfire, arson, and people breaking into businesses and stealing whatever they could carry.

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The pawn shop owner was arrested the night of the shooting, was held in the Hennepin County Jail for several days and released pending further investigation.

Horton’s family on Tuesday joined civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents most of Floyd’s family members, and activists at a news conference demanding charges against the pawn shop owner.

Crump said Horton’s family has gotten “no answers” from government officials about his death, despite dozens of calls. Horton, who would have turned 44 on Tuesday, left behind his mother and seven children, including 8-year-old twin sons.

“His life matters to all of his children, each and every one of them, his entire family. So we’re here to declare that Calvin Horton’s life matters,” Crump said, before leading people in a chant of “Calvin Horton’s life matters.”

“We’re absolutely heartbroken,” Horton’s daughter, Cadaezhah Horton, 20, said. “And we’re left to feel as if we’re the ones in prison. We want justice for my dad, and we aren’t going to stop until we see it.”

“The only thing I want is justice,” said Horton’s mother, Mae Roberts. “Nothing is being done for my son.”

Freeman said that so far authorities have only one witness who saw part of the encounter and have not found any surveillance camera video showing what happened.

“We need the help of anyone who was in or around Cadillac Pawn at the time of the shooting,” Freeman said. “We need to know what happened several minutes before the shooting and then the shooting itself.”

The scene was chaotic that night, with many people in and around the pawn shop, Freeman said. Some of those people pelted police officers as they tried to render first aid to Horton and attacked them with objects as they tried to investigate the crime scene, he added. The officers retreated and investigators were unable to safely return until the next day.