Police in Brooklyn Center fire tear gas into a crowd of people protesting the police shooting of 20-year-old Daute Wright on April 11, 2021 | Chad Davis, Minnesota Reformer
Hundreds of protesters faced off with Brooklyn Center police officers overnight at the department’s police headquarters hours after the Sunday afternoon police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington and other law enforcement officials gave an overnight press conference where they provided an update about the response to the civil unrest that arose Sunday night in response to the killing.
Police deployed tear gas, fired so-called non-lethal munitions and declared an unlawful assembly as hundreds of protesters demanded accountability for the latest killing of a Black man in Minnesota.
About 20 businesses in the Shingle Creek Crossing shopping center in Brooklyn Park had been looted, Harrington said, adding that there were reports of looting in Minneapolis along Lake Street.
The killing once again inflamed tensions in Minnesota amid the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd last May.
“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a tweet. “Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”
Police have not yet officially identified Wright, but his mother has identified the man killed as her son, according to reports.
According to a Brooklyn Center police statement, officers stopped a motorist near the 6300 block of Orchard Avenue in Brooklyn Center shortly before 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Police say the driver of the car had an outstanding warrant and attempted to take the driver into custody, but the driver “re-entered the vehicle.”
One officer “discharged their firearm,” hitting the driver. The car traveled several blocks before hitting another vehicle.
Wright was declared dead at the scene, and a female passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to North Memorial Hospital for treatment.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting as “standard procedure,” Harrington said.
Harrington did not provide any additional information, including whether Wright was armed, during the overnight press conference, but said officers were wearing body-worn cameras during the shooting and are being reviewed.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot ordered a curfew Sunday, and the National Guard has also been deployed.
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This story originally appeared in the Examiner’s sister publication, the Minnesota Reformer, part of States Newsroom, a network of news outlets supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Minnesota Reformer maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Patrick Coolican for questions: [email protected]
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