Brooklyn Center Police Deploy Teargas on People Protesting Daunte Wright's Death

Brooklyn Center Police Deploy Teargas on People Protesting
Daunte Wright's Death 1

Clashes have broken out between police and protesters after an officer shot a man during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, who then crashed his vehicle and died.

The victim, identified as 20-year-old Daunate Wright, died after he was pulled over for an alleged traffic violation on the 6300 block of Orchard Avenue just before 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 11.

According to a Brooklyn Center police statement, officers determined that Wright had an outstanding warrant.

“At one point as officers were attempting to take the driver into custody, the driver re-entered the vehicle,” police said. “One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver. The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle.”

Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. A female passenger sustained non-life threatening injuries during the crash.

The incident sparked protests which continued late into the night on Sunday, with police seen attempting to disperse the crowd using tear gas and flash bangs.

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Among the crowd were people who were attended a St. Paul rally earlier in the day for the families of people killed by police, reported CBS Minnesota.

The shooting also occurred during the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, whose death last May sparked worldwide Black Lives Matter protests.

Images and videos of the protests have been shared on social media, including one in which the crowd chant Wright’s name while marching towards the Brooklyn Center Police Department building, located just a few miles from the scene of the shooting.

Police continued to use flash bangs and chemical munitions in an attempt to disperse the crowd for more than an hour, as numerous videos from the scene have shown.

Police deployed more irritants after I saw people in the crowd throwing objects in their direction. That’s what I saw from my vantage point. Appeared to thin the crowd. Some are using milk to treat the burning in their throats and eyes.

— Nina Moini (@ninamoini) April 12, 2021

At around 11:30 p.m, Brooklyn Center police declared the crowd an unlawful assembly and told everyone there to leave immediately or face arrest.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot later imposed a curfew in Brooklyn Center, which will be in place until 6 a.m. on Monday.

“We want to make sure everyone is safe. Please be safe and please go home,” Elliot tweeted.

Elliot had earlier described the shooting as “tragic” while asking protesters to continue to be peaceful and that “peaceful protesters are not dealt with force.”

Governor Tim Walz said he is 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,” Walz added.

Brooklyn Center Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Carly Baker also confirmed that all school buildings will be closed on Monday and students will be remote learning as a result of the protests.

“This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution following the officer-involved shooting that took place in Brooklyn Center earlier today and not knowing what will unfold overnight in our community,” Baker said.

“We are focused on taking steps in the moment. I haven’t entirely processed the tragedy that took place in our community and I’m prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our students, families, staff members and community members. Tomorrow, our staff will be focused on the needs of our students. We know our community experienced trauma and we need the time and space to process.”

The Brooklyn Center Police Department has been contacted for comment.

People take cover as police fires tear gas in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Station during a protest after a police officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 11, 2021.

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