Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include the body cam footage of the police shooting down below.
Looting and rioting broke out late Sunday night and early Monday morning after a police officer fatally shot a man during a traffic stop.
Minnesota National Guard troops were called in to control what became a violent protest over the shooting of Daunte Wright, 20, in the city of Brooklyn Center.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott issued a city-wide curfew until 6 a.m. CDT Monday morning.
Newsweek reports that, “Several businesses in the area have been ‘completely destroyed,’ while rioters clashed with police, according to videos shared on social media.”
In a statement, Elliott addressed those he said were “filled with grief,” and issued a statement.
“Our entire community is filled with grief following today’s officer-involved shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20 year old young man. Our hearts are with his family, and with all those in our community impacted by this tragedy. While we await additional information from the BCA [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] who is leading the investigation, we continue to ask that members of our community gathering do so peacefully, amid our calls for transparency and accountability.”
“We are going to make sure that everything is done in our power to ensure that justice is done.”
— Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Mayor Mike Elliott at nearly 2 am after police killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/uS3S4jy403
— The Recount (@therecount) April 12, 2021
What The Facts Are So Far
From the facts known so far, it’s reported that police pulled Wright over around 2 p.m. Sunday for a traffic violation.
According to Wright’s mother, Wright told her he was being pulled over for an air freshener hanging from his rear view mirror. In Minnesota, it is illegal to hang anything from a rear view mirror, but police have not said why Wright was being pulled over.
When it was discovered that Wright had an outstanding warrant, police say they tried to arrest him. At that point, Wright got back in his car and drove off. Police fired at Wright’s car and hit him.
Wright continued on for several blocks before hitting another car and stopping.
Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. His girlfriend who a passenger in the car with Wright, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. It is not yet known if Wright was armed or why police fired at Wright’s vehicle.
— PolitiSite – PolitiSite Means Politics (@Politisite) April 12, 2021
A Violent Night In Minneapolis
As word of the incident spread, protesters gathered at the Brooklyn Center Police Department building and began throwing rocks and other objects, jumping on top of police cars, and confronting officers.
The crowd was repeatedly told to disperse by police who had to use tear gas, flash bangs, and rubber bullets to break up the crowd.
The Minnesota National Guard arrived around midnight, however several businesses in a nearby shopping center, including Walmart, Foot Locker, T Mobile, and New York men’s clothing store were looted and fully destroyed. Looting spread to other parts of Minneapolis by early Monday morning.
Wright’s mother Katie Wright asked for calm and for an end to any violence.
“All the violence, if it keeps going it’s only going to be about the violence. We need it to be about why my son got shot for no reason. We need to make sure it’s about him and not about smashing police cars, because that’s not going to bring my son back.”
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz issued a statement on the situation via social media.
I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center. Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 12, 2021
***UPDATE: Police Body Cam Footage Released***
The Brooklyn Center police have released the body cam footage of the shooting incident with Daunte Wright.
The Chief of Police, Tim Gannon, has said that he believes the officer was trying to taser Wright, but ‘accidentally’ used her firearm.
Warning: Graphic video can be viewed here, via Mediaite.
Calls For Defunding The Police
In the wake of the death of George Floyd last May, police departments all over the country began talk of defunding police departments. In December of 2020, the Minneapolis City Council voted to redirect $7.7 million from the police budget to other programs.
In a report from U.S. News and World Report, violent crimes in Minneapolis shot up by 21% in 2020.
In February of this year, the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to approve $6.4 million in additional funding for police. The move came in response to citizens’ complaints of long response times and the increase in violent crime.
Minneapolis City Council Votes to Increase Police Budget to Hire New Recruits https://t.co/PyhM8z8ENk I am shocked !! Defund the police and crime goes up. Now they want to fund the police because the citizens demand it. #BidenRemorse will be coming to a city near you
— Ron (@grimmybiz) February 15, 2021
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