Updated Apr 12, 2021 - Politics

Protests erupt after police shoot Black driver near Minneapolis

Protesters create a chalk circle that reads "Justice for Daunte Wright" in the street on April 11, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

Protesters create a chalk circle that reads "Justice for Daunte Wright" in the street in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop near Minneapolis Sunday, sparking protests and unrest that lasted into the night.

Between the lines: The shooting in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center, in Hennepin County, has further heightened tensions between police and the local community as the trial continues of former police officer Derek Chauvin, over the death of George Floyd.

What we know: Police said an officer fired his weapon after the driver tried to re-enter his car while being taken into custody during at traffic stop at about 2 p.m.

  • Wright's girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car, wasn't injured, they said.
  • Officials say they believe officers' body cameras were activated at the time of the shooting, which took place 10 miles from the Chauvin trial.

What they're saying: Katie Wright, the driver's mother, told reporters earlier Sunday she was on the phone to her son when he encountered police while driving.

  • "He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror," she said.
  • His mother said she heard him being told to put the phone down and get out of the car before she heard "scuffling" and the call ended. His girlfriend answered when she called back and "my son was laying there lifeless," she added.

What unfolded: Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said at a briefing early Monday that by the time a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension team arrived to investigate the shooting, there were about 100 "highly agitated" people at the scene. They left when asked, he added.

  • Later, about 100-200 marched toward the Brooklyn Center Police Department building and rocks and other objects were thrown at the station, Harrington said. About 20 businesses were looted in the city.
  • Some protesters clashed with law enforcement, who fired tear gas, flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets outside the station, per the Star Tribune.
  • National Guard troops, sent to Minneapolis for Chauvin's trial, worked with local law enforcement to quell the unrest, Harrington said.

For the record: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) tweeted that he's "closely monitoring the situation" and "praying for Daunte Wright's family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement."

What to watch: Authorities said security would be stepped up ahead of Chauvin's trial resuming this week.

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Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.


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