Protests near Minneapolis after black man shot dead by police

Clay Curtis
April 12, 2021

Protests flared near Brooklyn Center hours after the shooting, with riot police out in force. He said law enforcement agencies were coordinating to tame the unrest, and the US National Guard was activated.

About 100 people, some visibly upset and one carrying a sign declaring "Justice for George Floyd", confronted police in riot gear after an officer shot a man in his vehicle in Brooklyn Center, a Minneapolis suburb.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott took to Twitter to urge both sides to remain peaceful. The man, identified in social media and news reports as Daunte Wright, 20, was Black. In a tweet he said, "We want to make sure everyone is safe. Please be safe and please go home", he wrote.

According to the Brooklyn Center Police Department, officers initiated a traffic stop at the 6300 block of Orchard Ave shortly before 2 PM Sunday. An officer fired at the vehicle, striking the driver. As they tried to arrest him, he got back into the auto and an officer fired at him, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said in a news release. The driver re-entered the vehicle and drove away.

Police alleged that "officers determined that the driver of the vehicle had an outstanding warrant".

The Mother of Daunte Wright, 20, in a video claims that her son was shot by police whom they accused of having large amounts of air fresheners in his vehicle.

Public mourners included Wright's family and friends who gathered, wept and consoled each other alongside protesters who carried "Black Lives Matter" flags, jumped atop police cars, confronted officers and walked peacefully in columns with their hands held up. A female passenger sustained injuries that were not life-threatening in the crash.

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Hundreds of protesters clashed with Minneapolis police after a Black man was fatally shot at a traffic stop.

A police officer was also transported to the hospital after sustaining injuries, according to audio of an emergency services call reported by the Star-Tribune. "Then I heard the police officer come to the window and say, 'Put the phone down and get out of the vehicle.' And Daunte said why".

A woman who lives near the crash site said she saw officers pull a man out of a vehicle and perform CPR. An officer fired at the vehicle, striking the driver. On one street, written in multi-coloured chalk: "Justice for Daunte Wright". Police set off flash bangs and sprayed chemical irritants at the crowd.

The family of Daunte Wright, 20, said he was pulled over for displaying an air freshener. By Sunday evening, about 100 people had gathered near the scene, according to the newspaper.

Tensions in the Minneapolis area are extremely high as the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer captured on video kneeling for nine minutes on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old handcuffed Black man, enters its third week today.

The police department added that body and dash cameras were switched on during the incident and that an independent investigation into the case has been opened.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he was "closely monitoring the situation" and praying for Mr Wright's family.

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