Tear gas has been fired and a curfew imposed amid angry protests

Author : deriyadi99
Publish Date : 2021-04-12 08:40:49


Tear gas has been fired and a curfew imposed amid angry protests

Tear gas has been fired and a curfew imposed amid angry protests after police fatally shot a black man in a traffic stop in the US city of Brooklyn Center, just north of Minneapolis.

The man has been identified by relatives as 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Brooklyn Center's mayor issued a city-wide curfew until 06:00 (11:00 GMT), telling people to "be safe, go home".

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Tensions in Minneapolis are high as the trial of the former officer accused of killing George Floyd takes place.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he was "closely monitoring the situation" and praying for Mr Wright's family.

What's the latest at the scene?
Hundreds of protesters chanting Daunte Wright's name engaged in a stand-off with riot police late on Sunday outside the police headquarters in Brooklyn Center, just a few kilometres north of central Minneapolis.

Two police vehicles were pelted with stones and jumped on, Reuters news agency reported.

Police later ordered the protesters to disperse, with footage showing tear gas and stun grenades being fired by officers.

Local media reported some looting taking place in a number of areas and Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced on Twitter he was issuing a curfew until 06:00.

"We want to make sure everyone is safe. Please be safe and please go home," he wrote.

Some of the Minnesota National Guard, already deployed for the murder trial of Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd, were sent to Brooklyn Center.

Brooklyn Center has closed all school buildings, programmes and activities for Monday, local media report.

What happened to Daunte Wright?

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In a statement, the Brooklyn Center Police Department said officers had pulled a man over for a traffic violation on Sunday afternoon and determined that he had an outstanding arrest warrant.

They said that when police tried to arrest him, he re-entered the vehicle.

An officer then shot the driver, who drove on for several blocks before he crashed into another vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A female passenger in the vehicle suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said body cameras were being worn by the officers involved, and dash cameras had also been activated.

Mr Wright's mother, Katie, said her son had called her during the traffic stop for car insurance details. She said she then heard scuffling and the phone was cut.

"A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he'd been shot... and my son was laying there lifeless."

She told the StarTribune her son's body had been left on the ground by officers, saying: "Nobody will tell us anything. Nobody will talk to us... I said please take my son off the ground."

Mayor Elliott said the shooting was "tragic" and Governor Walz said: "Our state mourns another life of a black man taken by law enforcement."

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Why Minneapolis is on edge
The murder 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.

The trial is expected to last at least one month and law enforcement officials have already 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.

Tensions between Minneapolis' black community and the police did not start with the death of George Floyd. They have been years in the making.

On a hot Thursday morning in the Longfellow neighbourhood of Minneapolis, a 28-year-old father named Nuwman stood outside the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct drinking a large coffee as smoke wafted past from the smouldering ruins of nearby buildings.

It was day three of protests over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, after a white police officer named Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd begged for his life before falling unconscious and dying in the street, in full view of witnesses and a rolling mobile phone camera. Four officers, including Chauvin, were fired from the department for their involvement.

The previous night, tensions ignited, and for the first time the city saw looting, arson and violence. At least one man died in a shooting at a pawn shop.

"This is everyday. Everyday that these police officers have enforced their protocol has led up to this," said Nuwman, his voice rising with emotion over the din of protesters and sirens. "This is not just a singular moment. This is a cataclysm. A combination of all the things that happened before."

That night, protesters stormed the precinct as police cruisers flew out of the rear parking lot, abandoning it to demonstrators who quickly moved from room to room lighting blazes.

The following afternoon, a Friday, saw the arrest of Chauvin by Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Chauvin has been charged with murder.

This is not the first instance of a controversial, police-involved killing in the region. In 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer in a neighbourhood just 15 minutes away from the current epicentre of protest.

In 2017, a Minneapolis officer was charged with the shooting death of Justine Damond after she called to report a possible sexual assault. In 2015, protests erupted over the shooting death of Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old man who was being pursued by Minneapolis officers.

All three deaths sparked protest movements and yielded mixed results in terms of prosecution. Yanez was tried and acquitted. Mohamed Noor, Damond's shooter, was sentenced to 12.5 years. No charges were brought in Clark's case.



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