Minneapolis Police shoot dead Black man, 16km from where George Floyd was killed
Tensions are running high in Minneapolis, already on edge and midway through the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder and manslaughter, in George Floyd’s death. Not even a year later, a 20-year-old Black man, Daunte Wright, was fatally shot by the police on Sunday.
A Black man in suburban Minnesota was fatally shot by the Minneapolis Police at a Brooklyn Center traffic stop on Sunday, sparking subsequent 'Black Lives Matter' protests and further fanning tensions over police violence across the United States of America. The victim was identified by his family as 20-year-old Daunte Wright. A report by the Associated Press said that Wright was shot by the police before getting back into his car and driving away, then crashing the vehicle several blocks away. He was later pronounced dead, Wright's kin said.
The incident took place 10 miles (16 km) from where George Floyd was killed during an arrest in Minneapolis last May, Reuters reported, adding that angry crowds protested outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department building on Sunday night, while officers in riot gear fired rubber bullets and lobbed flash bangs at protesters and let off clouds of chemical irritants.
America is still recuperating with the death of George Floyd, who was killed last year after Derek Chauvin, one of the police officers who arrived on the scene, knelt on Floyd's neck for over nine minutes. After his death, protests against police brutality, especially towards Black people, quickly spread across the United States and internationally. Tensions are running high in Minneapolis, already on edge and midway through the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder and manslaughter, in George Floyd’s death. In the hours after the shooting on Sunday, protesters clashed with police in riot gear, breaking a cruiser’s windshield as police fired nonlethal rounds, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said in a statement that he was monitoring the unrest in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, as "our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement."
“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 said in a statement posted late Sunday night on Twitter.
Officials from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said the agency was on the scene, as per the AP report. Citing a statement from the Brooklyn Center Police, the agency reported that officers stopped an individual shortly before 2pm on Sunday after determining the driver had an outstanding warrant. Police said when they tried to arrest the driver, the driver reentered the vehicle and drove away. An officer fired at the vehicle, striking the driver. Police said the vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle. Police did not identify the driver who was shot but said the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the person’s name following a preliminary autopsy and family notification. A female passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries during the crash.
Meanwhile, the Wrights demanded answers from police. 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. She told reporters at the scene, according to Reuters, 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 could hear police tell her son to get out the vehicle, she said.
Public mourners included Wright's family and friends who gathered, wept and consoled each other alongside protesters who carried “Black Lives Matter” flags, jumped atop police cars, confronted officers and walked peacefully in columns with their hands help up. On one street, written in multi-colored chalk: “Justice for Daunte Wright.”
The incident, which sparked protests late into Sunday night, happened with Minneapolis Brooklyn Center is a city with a population of about 30,000 people located on the northwest border of Minneapolis.
(With inputs from agencies)