National Guard deployed after police shooting near Minneapolis

The Minnesota National Guard increased its presence in the Minneapolis area on Monday after a local police officer shot and killed a black man during a traffic stop, sparking a night of protests and unrest.

The filming of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in suburban Minneapolis on Sunday came when many residents of the metro area were already at their wit’s end. The city is halfway the trial of the former police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd, whose death sparked global protests against racial injustice.

An officer shot Wright around 2 p.m. Sunday on a street in the Brooklyn Center, according to law enforcement and local officials. The Brooklyn Center is about a 20-minute drive north of the downtown Minneapolis courthouse where Derek Chauvin is on trial.

The Brooklyn Center Police Department said the shooting took place when officers, who had arrested Wright for a traffic violation, attempted to take him into custody on an outstanding warrant.

Katie Wright, Daunte Wright’s mother, told a reporter for Minneapolis news station KARE 11 that her son called her while he was arrested.

“I heard the policeman say, put the phone down and get out of the car,” she said. “I heard fights, and I heard an officer say, ‘Daunte, don’t run,’ and another policeman said, ‘Daunte, hang up the phone’ and hang up. Like a minute later I called and his girlfriend answered, [who] was the passenger in the car and said he was shot.

The police department said Daunte got into his vehicle and a policeman shot him. The car traveled several blocks before crashing into another vehicle.

Friends and family comfort Katie Wright, right, as she speaks to media near where family say her son Daunte was shot and killed by police © Jeff Wheeler / Star Tribune via AP

After the shooting, about 100 “very agitated” people gathered at the scene, said John Harrington, Minnesota’s public safety commissioner. The police asked them to disperse, and they did.

A crowd of 200 people marched towards the Brooklyn Center Police Department later that day, Harrington said. Some threw stones and other objects at the police.

Police responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets, according to social media posts from journalists and activists at the scene. Brooklyn Center mayor Mike Elliott imposed a curfew that was lifted at 6 a.m. Monday.

A second crowd formed Sunday night at the Shingle Creek Crossing shopping center, Harrington said. About twenty businesses were looted.

The Minnesota National Guard had deployed about 500 troops to the area on Sunday and was scheduled to increase its presence on Monday, alongside law enforcement.

Reclaim the Block, a Minneapolis coalition that wants to divert police funding to “long-term alternatives,” Monday morning retweeted Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, professor of African American studies at Princeton University, who wrote: “For anyone who thought the Chauvin trial was meant to be some kind of indictment of the practice of policing. . . here is your daily reminder that the police will never be racist, violent, murderous and corrupt. It is and always has been cooked in the institution.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting. Harrington said early Monday morning that it was “too early for us to make any meaningful comment on [the shooting] other than BCA has been deployed ”.

Elliott and Tim Walz, Governor of Minnesota, both extended their words of sympathy to Wright’s family.

“My heart goes out to Dante’s family,” Elliott said in a video posted around 2 a.m. on Monday. “We will make sure that everything is done in our power to ensure that justice is done.”

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