Protest sparks over US police shooting Black man in Minneapolis

Agence France-Presse . Minneapolis | Published: 13:34, Apr 12,2021

 
 

Protesters confront police officers in riot gear after an officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Centre, Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 11, 2021. — AFP photo

Protests broke out Sunday night after US police shot a young Black man in a suburb of Minneapolis – where a former police officer is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Centre, northwest of Minneapolis, with police later firing teargas and flash bangs to disperse the crowd, according to an AFP video journalist.

By around midnight local time, the National Guard was on the scene, police had declared an illegal assembly, and the Brooklyn Centre mayor said he would ‘be issuing a curfew order shortly’.

The mother of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, told a crowd earlier Sunday evening that he called her to say he had been pulled over by police, local media reported.

Katie Wright said she heard officers tell her son to put his phone down, and then one of the officers ended the call. Soon after, her son’s girlfriend told her he had been shot.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed to AFP it was ‘investigating an officer-involved shooting incident’ in Brooklyn Centre but declined to identify the victim.

According to a statement from the Brooklyn Centre Police Department, officers pulled over a driver for a traffic violation. When they discovered he had an outstanding warrant, they tried to take him into custody.

He got back into his car, and one of the officers fired their weapon, striking the driver, who died at the scene.

A female passenger in the car suffered ‘non-life threatening injuries’ and was transported to a local hospital, said the statement, which did not identify the woman.

Photos from the protest showed men stomping on the windshield of a police cruiser. Police fired rubber bullets to try to disperse the protesters, according to the Star Tribune.

After about an hour, the police presence eased, and the crowd lit candles and wrote messages such as ‘Justice for Daunte Wright’ in chalk on the street.

Brooklyn Centre mayor Mike Elliott called the shooting ‘tragic’.

‘We are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with force,’ he wrote on Twitter.

But clashes broke out again soon after as another group of several hundred protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn Centre Police Headquarters and were met with teargas and flash bangs.

The shooting comes during the ongoing trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing charges of manslaughter and murder over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.

Floyd’s killing sparked months of protests in the United States against racism and police brutality and attracted international outrage.

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