September 17, 2021

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Crowds gather to protest after Minnesota police officer fatally shoots driver during traffic stop – ABC News

3 min read

A crowd of protesters has gathered as a result of the shooting.

A Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer fatally shot a driver during a traffic stop Sunday afternoon, police said.

Officers initiated a stop for a traffic violation in the area of the 6300 block of Orchard Ave. shortly before 2 p.m., Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said in a statement Sunday. There, they determined that the driver of the vehicle had an outstanding warrant.

“At one point as officers were attempting to take the driver into custody, the driver re-entered the vehicle,” Gannon said. “One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver.”

He said the vehicle traveled several blocks before crashing into another vehicle. The passengers in the other car were not injured.

Officers and medical personnel “attempted life saving measures” on the driver, Gannon said, “but the person died at the scene.”

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the person’s name following a preliminary autopsy and family notification.

Gannon said the officers wore body cameras, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal apprehension is now investigating the incident.

A female passenger who was also in the vehicle with the person shot sustained non-life threatening injuries during the crash, Gannon said. She was transported to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale.

Brooklyn Center is about 10 miles north of Minneapolis.

Moments after the shooting, crowds of protesters gathered at the scene holding Black Lives Matter signs.

“The officer shooting in Brooklyn Center today is tragic,” Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot tweeted Sunday night. “We are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with with force.”

At around 9 p.m CT, the crowd of protesters began making their way toward the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters.

Aerial footage obtained by ABC News shows police forming a perimeter around the building.

Officers then declared the demonstration outside the police station an unlawful assembly and gave them a 10-minute warning to clear out. About 25 minutes later, officers started firing less-lethal rounds and flash bangs to disperse protesters remaining in the area.

No injuries have been reported, and it is unclear if any arrests have been made.

Metro Transit announced on Twitter Sunday that it was shutting down public transit in Brooklyn Center at the request of law enforcement.

Brooklyn Center Community Schools announced that schools will be closed Monday due to the unrest, but classes will be held virtually.

“All students in grades E-12 will be in distance learning on Monday, April 12. Our school buildings will also be closed for the day. All programs, including Centaur Plus and Centaur Beginnings, and all after-school activities are also canceled,” Superintendent Dr. Carly Baker said in a statement. “This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution following the officer-involved shooting that took place in Brooklyn Center earlier today and not knowing what will unfold overnight in our community.”

Baker said she hasn’t “entirely processed the tragedy that took place in our community” and is therefore prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of the students, their families, the staff members and the community members.

Baker added that on Monday, school staff will be focused on helping students cope with the “trauma” from the shooting.

ABC News’ William Gretsky contributed to this report.

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