Police killing of Daunte Wright in Minnesota sparks protests

Hundreds of people protested Sunday night after a Black man in Minnesota was shot by a police officer and died following a traffic stop. The shooting happened Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb of about 30,000 people. The city is about 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the killing of another […]

People raise their hands in front of the authorities near the site where a family said a man was shot and killed by local law enforcement, Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
Hundreds of people protested Sunday night after a Black man in Minnesota was shot by a police officer and died following a traffic stop.
The shooting happened Sunday afternoon in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb of about 30,000 people. The city is about 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the killing of another Black man, George Floyd.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz identified the man killed in Sunday’s incident as Daunte Wright.
“Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement,” Walz tweeted.
Around 2 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET), police said they were trying to take a man into custody after learning during a traffic stop that he had outstanding warrants.
The man got back into his vehicle, and an officer shot him, police said. The man then drove several blocks before striking another vehicle, police said.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said police and medical personnel attempted life-saving measures following the crash, but the man died at the scene.
Protesters gathered Sunday evening and marched toward the police department, leading to what the city’s mayor described as “growing civil unrest.”
Aerial footage from CNN affiliate KARE showed several police cars around the Brooklyn Center crash site swarmed by crowds. The video showed people attempting to damage police cars.
The state deployed the Minnesota National Guard, and Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott issued a curfew until 6 a.m. Monday (7 a.m. ET).
Wright called his mother during the traffic stop
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told CNN affiliate WCCO her 20-year-old son called her as he was getting pulled over.
“He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror,” the mother said, crying. “A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, which was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot.”
“He didn’t deserve to be shot and killed like this,” Wright said.
Body camera footage of the incident exists, but has not yet been released, authorities said.
Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is on the scene and will investigate, the Brooklyn Center police chief said.
Schools are closed
Brooklyn Center Community Schools are closed Monday and will have remote learning “out of an abundance of caution,” Superintendent Dr. Carly Baker wrote in a message posted on the school’s website.
“I haven’t entirely processed the tragedy that took place in our community and I’m prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our students, families, staff members and community members.”
A crowd marched toward the police department
As anger over the shootings spread, about 100 to 200 people marched toward the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) commissioner John Harrington said.
After nightfall, a crowd gathered around the police department, CNN crews on scene reported. Officers held a line outside of the department, with some officers positioned on top of the building.
Harrington said there were reports of people throwing rocks and other objects at the police department building. There were also reports of shots fired in the area, he said.
While one group stayed at the police department, a second group was seen at the Shingle Creek Mall, where around 20 businesses were broken into, Harrington said.
A majority of the crowd at the police department was later dispersed, Harrington said.
A police representative announced over a speaker that it was an unlawful assembly, and at 9:30 p.m. gave the group a 10-minute warning to disperse.
Five minutes later, the crowd was given another warning to leave before a loud boom went off and people took off running. Some of the crowd remained.
In nearby Minneapolis, a strike team was deployed to deal with reports of break-ins and shots fired, Harrington said.
He said authorities will keep a strong presence in the area in the coming days.
“You will see a robust assortment of National Guard, state and local police departments working together over the next two or three days,” Harrington said.


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