The protests continued for a third night at Brooklyn Center in the US state of Minnesota after the death of Duante Wright, a black man who was shot dead by a white police officer during a traffic stop.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the heavily guarded police headquarters on Tuesday where police in riot gear and National Guard soldiers kept watch.
After dark, dozens of protesters threw bottles and other projectiles at a fence outside the police headquarters.
State police declared the gathering illegal and ordered crowds to disperse before the 10 p.m. curfew. The announcement sparked clashes between police and protesters.
Protesters launched fireworks and threw objects at police, who fired tear gas, non-lethal bullets and flashbangs and attempted to repel the crowd, US media reported.
The third night of protests came on the same day that the Minneapolis police officer who fatally injured Wright, 20, and the police chief who called the murder an apparent accident both resigned in the face of civil unrest.
The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, said the two resigned a day after the chief told reporters that the officer who shot Wright appeared to have drawn his gun by mistake when grabbing his Taser.
Mayor Mike Elliott said city council passed a resolution calling for dismissal of Chief Tim Gannon and Officer Kim Potter.
“I hope this will bring some calm to the community,” Elliott said, adding that he had yet to accept Potter’s resignation, leaving the door open to fire her. “We want to send a message to the community that we are taking this situation seriously.”
Elliott expressed his sympathy to the protesters, who he said were motivated by fear rather than lawlessness.
“What I saw were young people, many of whom looked like Daunte,” Elliott said. “And I could feel their pain. I could feel their anger. I can feel their fear.
Terminating Potter’s employment, rather than allowing him to resign, could harm the veteran’s 26-year pension and his ability to find future law enforcement employment.
The move followed two nights of protests and clashes between protesters and police in Brooklyn Center, part of an area already plagued by the trial of Derek chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of the murder of George Floyd last May.
Floyd, 46, handcuffed dead with his neck pinned to the street below Chauvin’s knee, has become the face of the nationwide protests against racism and police brutality that swept across the United States last summer.
Dozens of people were arrested at the Brooklyn Center on Sunday and Monday evening amid looting and clashes between activists and police.
Reporting from the Brooklyn Center, Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher said, “You can see the anger in the community here is not going away, even with these resignations. They want to see something more meaningful, something more substantial.
“We saw people here throwing bottles and stones at passing police cars. Then the police said it was an illegal gathering, that’s when we started to see tear gas and police entering in large numbers. “
‘I just shot him’
As the mayor spoke about it earlier on Tuesday, Wright’s family and supporters gathered near the Minneapolis courthouse where Chauvin is on trial, and told reporters the anguish over his death.
Wright, who had a learning disability and dropped out of high school, is remembered as a loving, good-humored man who worked multiple jobs to support his two-year-old son.
Floyd’s two brothers appeared at the press conference with Floyd’s girlfriend Courteney Ross who kissed Wright’s mother Katie and said she had previously taught Wright at school.
Wright’s fatal encounter began when police pulled him over in his car for what they said was an expired car registration.
According to Gannon, officers then discovered an arrest warrant for him in their system. When Wright pulled away from an officer and got back into his car with the apparent aim of fleeing, the second officer, since identified as Potter, accidentally pulled out his pistol instead of his Taser and opened fire, a- he declared.
An autopsy revealed that Wright had been struck once in the chest. Potter can be heard on the police video shouting, “Holy shit, I just shot him.”
The car then drove with Wright still in the driver’s seat until it collided with another vehicle and came to a stop.
Memories of Wright’s mother and other loved ones have focused on her last moments.
Katie Wright said her son called her after her arrest and offered to mediate with police over the phone. She said she heard police order her son, who appeared confused, to get out of his vehicle, followed by the sound of brawls and a police officer telling him to hang up the phone.
She said Wright’s girlfriend, who was with him in the car, finally picked up the phone and, amid screams and screams, told him he had been shot.
“She pointed the phone at the driver’s seat and my son was lying there, numb,” Katie Wright recalls, crying. “It was the last time I saw my son.”
Wright was killed just 10 miles from where Floyd died while under arrest for allegedly passing a fake $ 20 bill.