Hundreds of protesters clashed with police in the US suburbs of Minneapolis after officers fatally shot a 20-year-old African American man in a Sunday road check. Demonstrators demolished police cars, to which the police responded with tear gas and rubber ammunition.
The man shot by the police is 20-year-old Daunte Wright, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said. According to a statement by police in Brooklyn Center, north of Minneapolis, officers detained an unnamed driver for breaking traffic regulations. The police determined that the man was being prosecuted, but when they wanted to arrest him, he “got into the vehicle again”. An officer shot a driver who drove a few more blocks and then died. The woman accompanying him was slightly injured.
The police noted that the incident was recorded by cameras worn by officers and by a camera placed in a police car, and the case was under investigation. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called for the tapes to be made public and for an independent investigation to be launched.
The girl answered the phone and said that Daunte was dead
The mother of the 20-year-old, Katie Wright, told reporters that she received a call from him on the day of her son’s death. Daunte reportedly told her that the police detained him in connection with the air fresheners he had hung in his car’s rearview mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota. The woman added that she heard the policemen order her son to leave the car.
“I heard a scuffle, followed by a policeman saying, Daunte, don’t run,” Wright said. Then the connection stopped. When she dialed his number again, the phone was answered by a 20-year-old girl who said her boyfriend was dead.
Brooklyn Center riots
On Sunday evening, a crowd of protesters gathered in front of the Brooklyn Center police station, facing police officers in full gear, reports Reuters. It added that several people had demolished two police cars by throwing stones at them and jumping on them. Police used rubber ammunition, tear gas and stun grenades.
According to state officials, there were also burglaries and thefts on Sunday night, and National Guard soldiers were sent to the site. There has been a curfew at the Brooklyn Center and schools are slated to close on Monday.
Governor Walz said he was watching the unrest in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and “the state mourns another black man’s life taken away by law enforcement.”
Death of George Floyd
Daune Wright’s death occurred just a dozen kilometers from the place where another African-American George Floyd died in May 2020. A man died while in police custody, sparking protests against racism and police brutality across the US. Former policeman Derek Chauvin, accused of Floyd’s murder, is being tried in Minneapolis.
Main photo source: NICHOLAS PFOSI / EPA / PAP