Apr 13, 2021 - News

Fallout over Daunte Wright shooting continues

Protester heckling police
A demonstrator heckles police in Brooklyn Center, Minn., last night. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

A second night of protests over the police shooting of Daunte Wright unfolded in Brooklyn Center Monday, as a large crowd defied a curfew and pleas from city leaders to go home.

Driving the news: “We are going to get to the bottom of this. We are going to make sure that there’s justice, that this officer is held accountable," Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott told demonstrators in an effort to calm tensions after dark.

  • Law enforcement again deployed tear gas, flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets amid clashes with the crowds gathered outside the police station.
  • Several dozen protesters were arrested, MPR News reports, as limited looting was reported in Brooklyn Center and beyond.
  • By 11 p.m., demonstrators had largely dispersed and the mayor tweeted that "our city is calm."

The backdrop: The overnight curfew was instituted from 7pm to 6am across the metro in hopes of quelling unrest and violence following the fatal shooting of Wright, 20, who was killed during a traffic stop just before 2pm Sunday. The number of National Guard troops on the ground doubled to about 1,000, officials said.

As the evening protests ramped up, ramifications of the shooting continued to play out across city government.

  • The City Council voted to fire Brooklyn Center's city manager and give more power to the mayor, The Star Tribune reports.
  • The mayor is expected to announce whether he will fire the police chief as soon as today.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, meanwhile, identified the officer who shot Wright as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force.

Earlier in the night, hundreds gathered for a peaceful vigil in Wright's honor.

  • "I just need everyone to know that he was my life," Wright's mother Katie Wright said. "He was my son. And I can never get that back. Because of a mistake? Because of an accident?""
  • The family retained Benjamin Crump, the attorney who negotiated a record misconduct settlement on behalf of George Floyd's relatives.

The big picture: Sunday's fatal shooting has reverberated not just in the metro, but across the nation, bringing even more attention to the Twin Cities as the trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd nears an end.

  • President Biden called for a "full-blown investigation," as he echoed local and state officials' statements that while peaceful protests are justified, violence and destruction won't be tolerated.
  • "The world is watching the Chauvin trial. The world will watch this process, and the world will ask if there's justice," St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter told reporters.

Worthy of your time: Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon's claim that Potter likely fired her gun inadvertently while meaning to reach for a taser has renewed scrutiny of training and use of the less-lethal tool.

Go deeper: See more photos of the protests

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Monday night was the second night of protests (not Tuesday).


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