Daunte Wright shooting: Dozens arrested in fresh unrest in Minnesota: Protesters in the city of Brooklyn Center defied a curfew and threw objects at police, who responded with flash grenades and tear gas after 17 hours ago: Police release footage of arrest and shooting’
This report contains strong language: In a courtroom just a few miles away, ex-police officer Derek Chauvin is charged with murdering the African American man in May last year.
- A city with unrest in the making
- Timeline of black deaths caused by US police
- How are African-Americans treated under the law?
Police said Daunte Wright, 20, was shot and died after an officer mistook her gun for a Taser during a traffic stop: The shooting came as the high-profile George Floyd murder trial continues.
Derek Chauvin’s defence team on Monday asked for jury members to be sequestered – separated from other people – as they might be swayed by the latest events. The judge denied the request.
Prosecutors expect to decide Wednesday whether to charge a white former police officer who fatally shot a Black man during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, sparking nights of protests and raising tensions amid the <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/police-trials-minneapolis-racial-injustice-death-of-george-floyd-877dc5632fc03037131977c61af6865d”>nearby murder trial</a> of the ex-officer charged with killing George Floyd.Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter and Police Chief Tim Gannon <a href=”https://apnews.com/73b1af26c9ed5d437988d8d1c72bb311″>resigned Tuesday</a>, two days after Potter shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Gannon has said he believed Potter mistakenly grabbed her pistol when she was trying to pull out her Taser.Brooklyn Center <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/race-and-ethnicity-death-of-daunte-wright-liberia-shootings-police-0937e6536a5a3ce28ec5d20cb336565f”>Mayor Mike Elliott</a> said at a news conference that the city had been moving toward firing Potter, a 26-year veteran, when she resigned.
Elliott said he hoped her resignation would “bring some calm to the community,” but that he would keep working toward “full accountability under the law.”Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told WCCO-AM that he had received information on the case from state investigators and hoped to have a charging decision on Wednesday. Orput did not respond to a message from The Associated Press. While the shooting happened in Hennepin County, prosecutors referred the case to nearby Washington County — a practice county attorneys in the Minneapolis area adopted last year in handling police deadly force cases.“We have to make sure that justice is served, justice is done. Daunte Wright deserves that. His family deserves that,” Elliott said.But police and protesters faced off once again after nightfall Tuesday, with hundreds of protesters gathering again at Brooklyn Center’s heavily guarded police headquarters, now ringed by concrete barriers and a tall metal fence, and where police in riot gear and National Guard soldiers stood watch.
About 90 minutes before a 10 p.m. curfew, state police announced over a loudspeaker that the gathering had been declared unlawful and ordered the crowds to disperse. That quickly set off confrontations, with protesters launching fireworks toward the station and throwing objects at police, who launched flashbangs and gas grenades, and then marched in a line to force back the crowd.“You are hereby ordered to disperse,” authorities announced, warning that anyone not leaving would be arrested. The state police said the dispersal order came before the curfew because protesters were trying to take down the fencing and throwing rocks at police. The number of protesters dropped rapidly over the next hour, until only a few remained. Police also ordered all media to leave the scene.Gannon has said he believed Potter <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/shootings-police-minnesota-e6bb9c49b1bcdc244e3ec11d94137c82″>mistakenly grabbed her gun when she was going for her Taser.</a> But protesters and Wright’s family members say the shooting shows how the justice system is tilted against Black people, noting Wright was stopped for an expired car registration and ended up dead.
Brooklyn Center, a suburb just north of Minneapolis, has seen its racial demographics shift dramatically in recent years. In 2000, more than 70% of the city was white. Today, a majority of residents are Black, Asian or Hispanic.Elliott said he didn’t have information on the police department’s racial diversity at hand but that “we have very few people of color in our department.”After stopping Wright for the expired license plates, police tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. The warrant was for his failure to appear in court on charges that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June.Body camera footage released Monday shows Wright struggling with police when Potter…
The officer who shot Mr Wright was named on Monday as Kim Potter, 48, who has worked for Brooklyn Center Police for 26 years.
Mr Wright was pulled over on Sunday for a traffic violation, but there was a struggle when he tried to get back into his car.
After drawing her gun, apparently by mistake, the officer said: “Holy shit, I just shot him.”
LIVE UPDATES: Minnesota police, rioters clash after Daunte Wright shooting; dozens arrested
Police shot and killed Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop Sunday
Fox News12 hours ago
On today’s episode of ‘Special Report’, Bret tracks protests in Minnesota after female police officer mistakes firearm for taser and fatally shoots a 20-year old black man.
Hundreds gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department Monday and defied curfew. They demanded justice for Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man fatally shot by police during a traffic stop.
The crowd chanted “Daunte Wright!” Some shouted obscenities at officers.
Authorities fired tear gas, and flash-bang grenades into the crowd after warning them that they were in violation of curfew. Some rioters retaliated by throwing smoke canisters back toward law enforcement, while others launched fireworks at the police lines, according to reports.
“Move back!” the police chanted. “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” the crowd chanted back.
Authorities said officers were shelled “pretty significantly,” with objects thrown from the crowd. A few officers were hit by debris and suffered minor injuries during the unrest, police said.
Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said law enforcement officials made attempts to talk with protest leaders about figuring how to peacefully disperse the crowds, but “unfortunately, those efforts weren’t successful … so … [we] stood and protected that building.”
The roughly 40 arrests were made at the Brooklyn Center Police Department protest, Langer said. He added that people were arrested for violations including breaching curfew and rioting.
Looters also broke into several businesses at a strip mall near the police station, including a Dollar Tree store, according to reports.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz imposed a curfew from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. Tuesday for counties that included Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, and St. Paul, the state capital.
Earlier, police put up a fence and concrete barricades around the building’s perimeter. It was surrounded by local police, as well as, Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota State Patrol officers, the Star Tribune reported.
Amelia Huffman, the Minneapolis Police Department’s deputy chief for professional standards, said 13 people were also arrested in Minneapolis amid the demonstrations — four for burglaries, two were suspects in shots-fired incidents, six were for curfew violations, and one was on an outstanding warrant.
Huffman added that five businesses were burglarized in Minneapolis during the unrest.
Police shot and killed Wright during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb on Sunday. The bodycam footage showed three police officers gathered near a stopped car that was pulled over an expired registration. Police attempted to arrest Wright for an outstanding warrant, leading to a struggle, followed by the fatal shooting.
Vice President Kamala Harris took to Twitter late Monday to comment on the shooting and said Wright’s family needs “justice and healing” as the investigation plays out.
“Prayers are not enough,” she tweeted. “Daunte Wright should still be with us. While an investigation is underway, our nation needs justice and healing, and Daunte’s family needs to know why their child is dead—they deserve answers.”
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said the officer who shot and killed Wright had intended to fire a Taser, not the handgun.
The officer was identified as Kimberly A. Potter, whose career with the Brooklyn Center Police Department has spanned more than 25 years, the Star Tribune reported. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Monday night that Potter is on standard administrative leave.
Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office said in a statement.
Follow below for more updates on the protests in Minnesota. Mobile users click here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
What happened overnight?
The curfew went into force at 19:00 (midnight GMT) across four counties with a huge law enforcement deployment.
In a press briefing after midnight local time, Minnesota State Patrol colonel Matt Langer said officers had reached out to organisers to try to keep protests peaceful but “unfortunately… the organisers weren’t able to influence the desires of the crowd”.
Col Langer said officers had been “shelled pretty significantly with objects” including fireworks.Daunte Wright’s mother ‘He was my life’.
He said protesters had pushed against the fence of the Brooklyn Center police headquarters and a decision had been made to push back the crowd.
There were “sporadic” incidents of looting in the area and in other parts of Minneapolis and neighbouring St Paul.
In response to the unrest, US President Joe Biden said peaceful protest was “understandable” but added: “I want to make it clear again: there is absolutely no justification, none, for looting.”
Shortly before midnight, Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot said he had spoken to Daunte Wright’s father and would “do everything to ensure justice is served”.
‘You took his life, for what?’
BBC’s Barbara Plett Usher reports from the scene
One sign at the protest captured the mood: “During the trial!!?” it read in bright orange letters.
“It’s ridiculous,” said the young man carrying it. “They know they have a delicate relationship with the black community right now and they should look to be making amends, not this.”
City officials had said the shooting could not have happened at a worse time, with tensions high over the George Floyd case.
Some protesters threw bottles and shot fireworks toward police lines. They vented their rage as officers in riot gear stood impassively. “You took his life, for what?” screamed a young woman.
“He was a son, he was a father, he was a black man that deserved to live.”
“Do you know the difference between a gun and a Taser?” shouted someone else. “Hell yeah,” roared the crowd, scorning the police chief’s belief that the shooting was a tragic mistake.
“There’s no room for accidents,” said one man. “The fact is that we lost another young black male to a police officer.’
What happened to Daunte Wright?
Police Chief Tim Gannon he believed the shooting of Mr Wright to be “an accidental discharge”.
He was stopped by police for having expired car registration plates and they then discovered an outstanding warrant out on him, so tried to arrest him, said the police chief.
During a news conference on Monday, he played a video from the body camera worn by the policewoman which shows Mr Wright trying to get back into his car as officers attempt to handcuff him on the side of the road.
An officer can then be heard saying “Taser, Taser, Taser” – normal police procedure before firing one of the stun guns. Mr Wright is seen to get into his car and drive away, while the same officer admits, using an expletive, to having shot him.
Katie WrightDaunte Wright’s mother, Katie, said her son called her as he was being pulled over by police
Fatally wounded, Mr Wright crashed a few streets away.
“It is my belief the officer meant to deploy their Taser but shot him with a single bullet,” Chief Gannon said, adding: “There’s nothing I can say to lessen the pain.”
Daunte Wright’s aunt, Naisha Wright, told CNN she did not believe the police account, saying officers knew the difference between a gun and a Taser.
She said: “I’ve owned an over 20,000 volt Taser. They don’t feel nothing like a gun.”
The officer has been placed on administrative leave – temporary leave with benefits and salary still paid.
Mayor Elliot has said she should be fired. He will make a decision on Tuesday about whether Chief Gannon will keep his job, the StarTribune reported.
How do police avoid mistaking a gun for a Taser?
Analysis by BBC Reality Check
Axon, the Taser manufacturer, says its weapons are designed to be distinguishable from handguns.
A company statement reported by the local media said it had “implemented numerous features and training recommendations to reduce the possibility of these incidents occurring…This includes building Taser energy weapons to look and feel different than a firearm.”
Different Taser features include:
- Often produced in bright colours
- Weigh significantly less than police guns
- Typically have different grips
- Don’t have a safety mechanism like guns
Almost all American police departments now issue their officers with Tasers, according to an estimate by Reuters news agency.
Police officers are typically trained to keep guns in a holster on their dominant side to avoid confusing it with their Taser, kept on the belt on the other side of the body.
“So if you’re right handed you carry your firearm on your right side and [you] carry your Taser on your left,” Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters.
Mistaking a gun for a Taser is relatively rare, but has happened before.
Comprehensive nationwide figures aren’t available. However, a law journal published in 2012 found nine examples of police officers accidentally using a handgun instead of a Taser between 2001 and 2009.
There have also been more recent instances of a suspect being shot instead of Tasered, such as in 2019 when a shoplifter was accidentally shot and seriously injured in St Louis, Missouri.
Why Minneapolis is tense
The trial of Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd has been under way in the city for two weeks now.
Mr Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest operation in Minneapolis last May. The footage of the incident sparked global protests against racism.
On Monday, Mr Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson called for jury members to be asked about the Daunte Wright shooting to determine if what they had heard could affect their verdict: How long will Derek Chauvin trial last?
He repeated a call for the jury to be kept separate from the public, but Judge Peter Cahill said full sequestering would only start when closing arguments began.
Law enforcement officials have been bracing for possible unrest once the jury reaches a verdict.
George Floyd’s death sparked waves of protests around the city, many peaceful but some violent with hundreds of buildings damaged: The last 30 minutes of George Floyd’s life
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