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AG Ellison 'ready to help' with prosecution in fatal shooting involving St. Paul PD

Investigators gave the Ramsey Co. Attorney's Office a file regarding a "use of force" incident that resulted in the death of 65-year-old Yia Xiong back in February.
Credit: KARE 11

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison says he's "ready to help" with the prosecution review regarding a use of force incident that left 65-year-old Yia Xiong dead back in February.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) formally presented its investigative file on Tuesday to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office, who in turn, asked for Attorney General Ellison's review.

“When county attorneys ask for the Attorney General’s assistance, we are ready to help,” said Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison in a press release Tuesday. “We look forward to working with the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office in their review of this case. We express our deepest condolences to the family of Yia Xiong as they go through this difficult time.”

Immediately after the shooting on Feb. 11, the BCA began its investigation to identify the officer involved.

The BCA said that Xiong died from "multiple gunshot wounds" that were fired by SPPD officer Abdirahman Dahir.

Later that month, St. Paul Police released bodycam video which showed that Xiong had been holding a traditional Hmong knife when officers encountered him outside an apartment doorway.

Residents inside the apartment had reported earlier that "a man was threatening people with a knife."

In the video, voices can be heard telling Xiong to "drop the knife" and to get to the ground, but he entered the apartment.

An officer then pushed open the door behind Xiong, and he came back out holding what appeared to be a knife.

Another voice is heard in the bodycam video screaming "stop" as Xiong walks out of the door before multiple shots are fired.

Later on Feb. 18, Xiong's relatives argued that the 65-year-old struggled to understand orders from SPPD to drop the knife because of a language barrier and extreme hearing loss.

According to SPPD, Officer Dahir is no longer on standard administrative leave, as the investigation continues.


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