Police shot and killed a Black man Sunday during a stop for a traffic violation, sparking protests and unrest in a suburb just miles from where George Floyd was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis in May.
Relatives and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz identified the man as Daunte Wright, 20.
Protesters shout "Don't shoot" while kneeling and raising their arms in front of a line of police officers at the Brooklyn Center Police Station after a police officer shot and killed a Black man near Minneapolis on Sunday.Kerem Yucel / AFP – Getty Images
The state mobilized the National Guard after crowds gathered in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Sunday evening, and a curfew was ordered through Monday morning.
Rocks and other objects were thrown at the police building, and there were reports that shots were fired in the area, state Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said in a news conference. Police said they had heard reports that a crowd of 100 to 200 people was marching toward the police department.
Officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas, NBC affiliate KARE of Minneapolis reported.
Protesters confront a line of police officers in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station after an officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Sunday.Kerem Yucel / AFP – Getty Images
The front door of the Brooklyn Park Police Department, about 8 miles from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, was struck by gunfire, which shattered the glass, police said in a statement. Brooklyn Park police were not involved in the shooting but assisted Brooklyn Center police with the “civil unrest” that took place afterward, the department said.
Harrington said about 20 businesses were reported to have been broken into at a nearby shopping center. The curfew was enacted “so that we can continue to keep our community safe,” Mayor Mike Elliott said in a statement on Twitter.
— Mayor Mike Elliott (@mayor_elliott) April 12, 2021
“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 said Sunday evening on Twitter. He said he was monitoring the unrest in Brooklyn Center.
I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center. Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 12, 2021
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters at the scene that her son called Sunday afternoon to tell her that police had pulled him over for having air fresheners dangling from his rearview mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota. She said she told him to put the officers on the phone so she could give them car insurance details.
She then heard police tell her son to get out of the vehicle, she said, according to video shot by KARE.
“I heard police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run,'” she said through tears. The call ended, she dialed his number again, and his girlfriend answered and said he had been shot.
Prosecution prepares to rest its case after second week of Chauvin trial
April 12, 202102:08
Brooklyn Center police said in a statement that officers pulled over a man for a traffic violation shortly before 2 p.m. and found that he had an outstanding arrest warrant. As police tried to take him into custody, he got back in the car, they said. One of the officers, who has not been identified, shot at the man, police said. The car drove several blocks before striking another vehicle, they said. The man died at the scene.
A crowd of about 100 “highly agitated” people gathered, Harrington said.
The Minnesota branch of the American Civil Liberties Union called in a statement for an “immediate, transparent and independent investigation by an outside agency” and for the quick release of any body camera video.
It said it has “deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target Black people.”