Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department Monday and defied curfew. They demanded justice for Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man fatally shot by police during a traffic stop.
The crowd chanted “Daunte Wright!” Some shouted obscenities at officers.
Authorities fired tear gas, and flash-bang grenades into the crowd after warning them that they were in violation of curfew. Some protesters retaliated by throwing smoke canisters back toward law enforcement, while others launched fireworks at the police lines, according to reports.
“Move back!” the police chanted. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” the crowd chanted back.
Authorities said officers were shelled “pretty significantly,” with objects thrown from the crowd. A few officers were hit by debris and suffered minor injuries during the unrest, police said.
Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said law enforcement officials made attempts to talk with protest leaders about figuring how to peacefully disperse the crowds, but “unfortunately, those efforts weren’t successful … so … [we] stood and protected that building.”
The roughly 40 arrests were made at the Brooklyn Center Police Department protest, Langer said. He added that people were arrested for violations including breaching curfew and rioting.
Looters also broke into several businesses at a strip mall near the police station, including a Dollar Tree store, according to reports.
- The Minneapolis area also erupted in looting and riots late Sunday
- Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting death Sunday of 20-year-old Daunte Wright as “an accidental discharge.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz imposed a curfew from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. Tuesday for counties that included Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, the state capital.
Earlier, police put up a fence and concrete barricades around the building’s perimeter. It was surrounded by local police, as well as, Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota State Patrol officers, the Star Tribune reported.
Amelia Huffman, the Minneapolis Police Department’s deputy chief for professional standards, said 13 people were also arrested in Minneapolis amid the demonstrations — four for burglaries, two were suspects in shots-fired incidents, six were for curfew violations, and one was on an outstanding warrant.
Huffman added that five businesses were burglarized in Minneapolis during the unrest.
Police shot and killed Wright during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb on Sunday. The bodycam footage showed three police officers gathered near a stopped car that was pulled over an expired registration. Police attempted to arrest Wright for an outstanding warrant, leading to a struggle, followed by the fatal shooting.
Vice President Kamala Harris took to Twitter late Monday to comment on the shooting and said Wright’s family needs “justice and healing” as the investigation plays out.
“Prayers are not enough,” she tweeted. “Daunte Wright should still be with us. While an investigation is underway, our nation needs justice and healing, and Daunte’s family needs to know why their child is dead—they deserve answers.”
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said the officer who shot and killed Wright had intended to fire a Taser, not the handgun.
The officer was identified as Kimberly A. Potter, whose career with the Brooklyn Center Police Department has spanned more than 25 years, the Star Tribune reported. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Monday night that Potter is on standard administrative leave.
Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office said in a statement.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report