Minneapolis descended into chaos as protests erupted and looting broke out on Sunday night after police in a suburb killed a black man during a traffic stop.
The incident occurred just 10 miles from where George Floyd died last May and where the trial into his death is moving into its third week on Monday.
Police were seen firing tear gas to disperse angry demonstrators protesting the death of 20-year-old Duante Wright and National Guard troops entered the town just before midnight local time as looters ransacked local shops.
Earlier on Sunday, police in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center said they tried to arrest Wright, after they had pulled him over for a traffic violation and then determined he had an outstanding warrant.
As police were trying to arrest him, Wright got back into his car and drove off, police said. An officer fired at the vehicle, striking Wright. Police said the vehicle then traveled several blocks before striking another car.
It’s not clear what happened from the time police were trying to arrest Wright and when they said he got back into his car and drove away. Police said body cameras ‘were activated’ during the incident, according to the New York Times, but no footage has been released.
According to Daunte’s mother, Katie, he called her while he was being pulled over to get insurance information for the vehicle because she recently gave the car to him. She said he told her he had been pulled over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror; police haven’t confirmed the specific violation they cite for pulling him over.
His mom described the call: ‘I said when the police officer comes back to the window, put him on the phone and I will give him the insurance information,’ she said. ‘Then I heard the police officer come to the window and say, “Put the phone down and get out of the car.” And Daunte said why. He said, “We’ll explain to you when you get out of the car.”‘
‘A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot and she put it on the driver’s side, and he was laying there lifeless,’ said Katie to gathered media on Sunday afternoon.
‘I heard scuffling, and 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 was now dead in the driver’s seat.
Meanwhile, as news of the death traveled, about 100 people, some visibly upset and one carrying a sign demanding ‘Justice for George Floyd,’ confronted police in riot gear.
Protests were peaceful to begin with, according to eyewitness reports, but soon turned unruly, with protesters vandalizing two police vehicles, pelting them with stones and jumping on them.
As the evening wore on, protestors took to the streets while looting broke out in other parts of the city as tensions boiled over in scenes all-too-familiar from last summer’s protest and subsequent riots.
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Daunte Wright, 20, was shot by a Brooklyn Center police officer on Sunday during a traffic stop. Police said they realized he had an outstanding warrant when they pulled him over for a traffic violation. It isn’t clear who the baby is in the photo
Tear gas is seen as officers stand guard outside Brooklyn Center Police Department with trash thrown at them by demonstrators at their feet after police allegedly shot and killed a man
Officers stand guard outside Brooklyn Center Police Department with trash thrown at them by demonstrators
Police officers in riot gear fire tear gas in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station as people gather to protest after a police officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Looters also targeted the Brooklyn Center Walmart and nearby shopping mall as night fell
Protestors face off with a line of police officers in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station as night fell after the shooting
Wright’s mother Katie claimed her son, pictured, had called her while being pulled over to get insurance information for the vehicle having recently been given the car as a gift. She suggested her son was pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from rear view mirror
Police officers stand in line in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station as people protest
Protesters confront police officers after an officer shot and killed a man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday
A crowd forms a circle around a memorial for Daunte Wright, in Brooklyn Center. Wright’s family told a crowd that he was shot by police Sunday before getting back into his car and driving away, then crashing the vehicle several blocks away
People run as police attempt to disperse the crowd at the Brooklyn Center Police Department
A woman who was tear gassed while confronting police raises her arms outside Brooklyn Center Police Department
Police officers in riot gear fire tear gas in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station as people gather to protest
People hold up their hands as a crowd gathers at the Brooklyn Center Police Department
Protesters hold blankets to protect themselves from tear gas in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station
Protestors face off with a line of police officers in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station
A protestor throws a trash bag in front of a line of police officers during a protest on Sunday night
Officers said they pulled over a driver for a traffic violation and determined that the driver had an outstanding warrant, the Brooklyn Center Police Department said in a statement
Protestors link arms in a show of strength in Brooklyn Center near Minneapolis
Protesters later walked to the Brooklyn Center police headquarters near 67th Avenue North and North Humboldt Avenue and were locked in a standoff with police in riot gear late on Sunday night
As the crowds started to become more agitated, police fired rubber bullets, hitting at least two in the crowd, with at least one man left bleeding from the head.
After nightfall, hundreds of protesters had gathered outside the suburban police department, which was guarded by hundreds of officers in riot gear. Police set off flash bangs and sprayed chemical irritants at the crowd.
Protesters yelled angrily at a line of police in riot gear holding long batons in front of them.
Some protesters vandalized two police vehicles, pelting them with stones and jumping on them. Police fired rubber bullets, hitting at least two in the crowd, with at least one man left bleeding from the head before crowds marched to the police department building.
National Guard troops arrived on the scene just before midnight while police used tear gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets on the crowd. Looters also targeted the Brooklyn Center Walmart and nearby shopping mall.
In a statement, Brooklyn Center police said officers pulled over Daunte Wright for a traffic violation.
When police pulled Wright over just before 2pm, they found he had an outstanding arrest warrant.
Wright’s mother 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 how she could hear police tell her son to get out the vehicle.
‘He got out of the car, and his girlfriend said they shot him,’ she said. ‘He got back in the car, and he drove away and crashed and now he’s dead on the ground since 1:47. … Nobody will tell us anything. Nobody will talk to us. … I said please take my son off the ground.’
Officers pulled over Wright for a traffic violation and determined that he had an outstanding warrant. Wright drove off but was shot. He’s pictured with an unidentified baby in an undated photograph
Authorities work the scene at the site of the shooting before protesters gathered
As news spread, people gathered to protest in Brooklyn Center, just outside of Minneapolis, where the shooting occurred
Family and friends of Daunte Wright, 20, grieve at 63rd Avenue North and Lee Avenue North hours after they say he was shot and killed by police, in Brooklyn Cente. Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, stands in the center
A person confronts a police officer near the site where a family said a man was shot and killed by police in Brooklyn Center
Sunday’s fresh outrage came as Twin Cities officials and law enforcement are already on edge
A man receives medical attention after getting shot in the head with a rubber bullet during a protest
Protestors rush to help a man who was shot with a rubber bullet by police during a protest on Sunday night
Men jump on the hood of a police car after a family said a man was shot and killed by law enforcement on Sunday
Mayah Varnado, right, is embraced by Olivia Williams as Varnado was overcome with emotion at 63rd Avenue North and Lee Avenue North, in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
A woman confronts police officers standing in line as protesters gather after an officer reportedly shot and killed a black man
Friends and family comfort Katie Wright, right, while she speaks briefly to news media near where the family says her son Daunte Wright, 20, was shot and killed by police on Sunday
People stand near crime scene tape in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Law enforcement has already been bracing for unrest in the area with tensions running high
A man can be seen jumping on the hood of a Brooklyn Center patrol car
Family and friends, foreground, of Daunte Wright, 20, mourn Sunday
People march in protest Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minn. The family of Daunte Wright, 20, told a crowd that he was shot by police Sunday before getting back into his car and driving away, then crashing the vehicle several blocks away.
Protesters clash with police near the site where a family said a man was shot and killed by local law enforcement
Protesters are pushed back by law enforcement on in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
According to Brooklyn Center police, officers pulled over a vehicle for a traffic violation shortly before 2pm
Protesters confront law enforcement on April 11, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
People stand on a police cruiser as protesters take to the streets after Brooklyn Center police shot and killed Daunte Wright
A sheriff’s deputy tells a protester to put down a rock near the site of a shooting involving a police officer on Sunday
A man sits near a circle around a memorial for Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center
As police tried to arrest him, he re-entered the vehicle. One officer shot the driver, they said. The driver drove several blocks before striking another vehicle to die at the scene.
A female passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries during the crash.
Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, tearfully pleaded for more information regarding the incident and for her son’s body to be moved from the street.
A woman who lives near the crash scene, Carolyn Hanson, said she saw law enforcement officers pull a man out of a vehicle and perform CPR. A passenger who got out of the car was also covered in blood, Hanson said.
Police say both officers’ body cameras were activated during the incident. The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said it was investigating the shooting.
A police officer was also transported to the hospital after sustaining injuries, according to EMS audio.
The Minnesota branch of the American Civil Liberties Union said another independent agency should investigate, and demanded the immediate release of any videos of the shooting.
The group said it had ‘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.’
By Sunday evening, about 100 people had gathered near the scene and headed to the Brooklyn Center police precinct to continue their protest. Outside the police building people chanted, ‘Black lives they matter here,’ and ‘Hands up, don’t shoot,’
Gov. Tim Walz just after 10pm tweeted ‘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.’
Minneapolis police officers in riot gear leave as protesters gather
Minneapolis police officers stand in line as they are confronted by protesters
A demonstrator jumps off a police cruiser during a protest after police allegedly shot and killed a man
A person raises their hands as police approach near the site where a family said a man was shot and killed by local police
A man stands atop a police car after throwing a brick at the windshield near the site of a shooting involving a police officer
Men jump on police vehicles near the site of a shooting involving a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Sunday’s shooting was ‘tragic’, said Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott.
‘We are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with with force,’ he said in a statement.
Late on Sunday night, Brooklyn Center police fired gas into a crowd of protesters who had gathered outside the police station.
The incident happened with Minneapolis already on edge and midway through the trial of the first of four police officers in George Floyd´s death.
Derek Chauvin, a white former Minneapolis police officer was captured on video kneeling for nine minutes on the neck of Floyd, a 46-year-old handcuffed black man last May. The trial enters its third week of testimony on Monday.
Floyd’s death sparked U.S. and global protests against police brutality and racial injustice.
His death sparked protests and violent demonstrations across Minneapolis seriously damaging hundreds of buildings.
Brooklyn Center is a city with a population of about 30,000 people located on the northwest border of Minneapolis.
Damik Wright, brother of Daunte Wright, who the family said was shot and killed earlier Sunday by police, holds Daunte’s son Daunte Jr., over his head to look at police officers assembling with riot gear at 63rd Avenue North and Lee Avenue North
A man who got shot in the head with a rubber bullet is photographed during a protest
A demonstrator confronts police face to face during a protest
Protesters stand on top of a police car after an officer reportedly shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis
Police officers take cover as they clash with protesters after an officer reportedly shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The incident involved a multi-car crash just prior to the officer discharging their weapon
Tentions boiled over in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on Sunday afternoon and evening
People hug as police officers stand armed behind them near the site of a shooting involving a police officer
A man raises his fist in the air as he yells at police donning riot gear in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
A protester smokes while standing on the hood of a police car in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
People raise their arms in protest, Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Brooklyn Center
Police stand near a police cruiser after a rock was thrown at it in protest
People attend to a man who was shot by a rubber bullet as protesters clashed with police after a man was shot and killed by police
A man is shot by a rubber bullet as protesters clash with police after a man was shot and killed by local law enforcement