Brief

Protests and looting follow police shooting of Black man in Minnesota

By: - April 12, 2021 11:24 am
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

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.”

A police officer stands outside a looted Walgreens in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis after police in Brooklyn Center shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man. | Chad Davis, Minnesota Reformer
A police officer stands outside a looted Walgreens in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis after police in Brooklyn Center shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man. | Chad Davis, Minnesota Reformer

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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Ricardo Lopez
Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

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