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Crowd protests after police near Minneapolis shoot Black motorist

Tensions in the area are very high as the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, a former police officer accused of killing George Floyd, enters its third week.
/ Source: NBC News

Police shot and killed a Black man on Sunday during a stop for a traffic violation, sparking protests and unrest in a suburb just miles away from where George Floyd was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis last May.

The man killed by police was identified by relatives and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz as Daunte Wright, 20.

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.

Duante Wright, who was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop.Courtesy Wright Family

Rocks and other objects were thrown at the Brooklyn Center Police Department building and there were reports of shots fired in the area of the police department, John Harrington, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said in a press conference. The unrest came after the police had heard reports of a crowd of between 100 and 200 people marching toward the police department.

Officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas, NBC News affiliate KARE reported.

The front door of the Brooklyn Park Police Department, located around 8 miles from the Brooklyn Center Police Department, was struck by gunfire, shattering the glass, police said in a statement. Brooklyn Park Police officers were not involved in the shooting but assisted Brooklyn Center Police with the “civil unrest” that took place after, the department said.

Harrington said about 20 businesses were reportedly broken into at a nearby shopping center. The curfew was put in place in the suburb of Minneapolis, “so that we can continue to keep our community safe,” Mayor Mike Elliott said in a statement on Twitter.

“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 on Twitter on Sunday evening. He also said he was monitoring the unrest in Brooklyn Center.

Wright's mother, Katie Wright, told reporters at the scene that she received a call from her son on Sunday afternoon telling her that police had pulled him over for having air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, illegal in Minnesota. She said she told him to put the police 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, and she dialed his number again, and his girlfriend answered and said he had been shot.

“A minute later I called, and his girlfriend answered, which was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot,” she said.

Brooklyn Center police said in a statement that officers pulled over a man for a traffic violation at shortly before 2 p.m. and found he had an outstanding arrest warrant. As police tried to take him into custody, he got back in the car. One officer shot the man, who was not identified in the statement. The car drove several blocks before striking another vehicle and dying at the scene.

After the shooting, a crowd of around 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-cam footage.

It also said that 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.”

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