MINNEAPOLIS - A Minneapolis police officer has been charged following a November incident in which he allegedly shot at a car full of people after it accidentally struck his squad car.
Efrem Hamilton, 42, of Minneapolis, has been charged with second-degree assault and intentional discharge of a firearm.
According to the criminal complaint, Minneapolis police were called to a fight with shots fired near 408 Third Ave. N. around 2:15 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2016. The officers responding to the scene put out over the radio that a gray, four-door Cadillac may be involved and it was going the wrong way on Third Ave.
Officer Hamilton was off-duty, working at the PourHouse (10 S. Fifth St.) when he heard the shots fired call. He drove to the scene to assist, but never radioed that he was responding, according to the complaint.
As other officers were stopping the Cadillac, a woman driving a dark BMW was following the instructions of officers to back her car down Third Ave. While doing that, Officer Hamilton parked in the middle of Third Ave. The woman backed her vehicle into Hamilton's car.
The complaint states Hamilton jumped out of his car and, without giving verbal commands, fired a shot, striking the BMW. Six people were in the car. No one was injured.
"Police officers have a difficult job," said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. "Yet, in this case, Officer Hamilton fired a shot at a car full of people just three seconds after getting out of his car. This is unacceptable behavior by a police officer, endangering the lives of innocent people."
Hamilton's first court appearance has not yet been set.
Two people suffered gunshot wounds in the original shots-fired call. The incident was a result of 30-40 people fighting in the area of 400 Third Ave. N.