National Guard Called In as Violence, Looting Erupt After Fatal Police Shooting
Minnesota National Guard troops deployed to a Minneapolis suburb just before midnight on Sunday after the area was rocked by hours of violence and looting that spawned from protests over a police-involved fatal shooting of a black man earlier in the day.
As the trial of former cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd nears its conclusion in Minneapolis, a city already on edge erupted Sunday evening after the latest officer-involved shooting. Officials said at least 20 stores in and around Brooklyn Center were looted – with videos posted to social media showing a Walmart, GameStop, O’Reilly Auto Parts store and other businesses being cleaned out by rioters – and a police station’s front door was shattered by a bullet. Other videos showed several men jumping on top of police cars and one clip caught a cop shooting a non-lethal munition at a man who had a large chunk of concrete in his hand.
Officers in riot gear fired flash bangs, rubber bullets and tear gas as the crowds grew chaotic, with one woman saying the experience was like being “in a war zone,” the New York Postreported.
Brooklyn Center police declared an unlawful assembly at 11:30 p.m., according to Minnesota Public Radio. The National Guard arrived on the scene soon after.
“You will see a robust assortment of National Guard, state and local police departments working together over the next two or three days,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Monday. A curfew in the area was lifted at 6 a.m. Monday, KARE11 reported.
The disorder grew out of protests revolving around the death of Daunte Wright, 20. Cops said Wright was pulled over for a traffic infraction just before 2 p.m. on Sunday and officers then determined Wright had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The police say Wright resisted arrest, getting back into his vehicle, at which point he was shot by one of the cops on the scene. Wright initially drove away from the scene, but his car, which also contained a female passenger, crashed intoanothervehicles several blocks away.
Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. None of the other individuals involved in the crash sustained serious injuries.
Brooklyn Center Cops wear body cameras, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, and there is believed to be body camera and police car dash camera footage of the episode. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is conducting an independent investigation.
Wright’s mom, Katie Wright, said she was on the phone with Daunte as he was getting pulled over, the Star Tribune reported. She said she heard the sounds of people struggling before someone said “Daunte, don’t run.” Then the call ended. The next time she called, Daunte’s girlfriend answered and said he had been shot.
A woman near the scene told the Star Tribune she witnessed officers pull a man from a crashed vehicle and perform CPR.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, tweeted late Sunday night, as the protests, looting and violence persisted: “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.”
The rioting and demonstrations on Sunday in Minnesota came after nearly a year of similar events nationwide in response to police-involved shootings and sparked 10 months ago by Floyd’s death, which occurred only a couple miles from where Wright was shot.
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