Demonstrators gathered in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday leading into Monday morning after the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was also a young father.
Community members, outraged at the incessant killings of Black people in America at the hands of police, called for justice and accountability.
Wright’s shooting comes at the height of tension over the Derek Chauvin murder trial, the suspected killer of George Floyd, which took place less than 15 miles away.
A large group of demonstrators gathered in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where they were met with rubber bullets and tear gas, according to KARE.
A 6 a.m. curfew was enforced by Mayor Mike Elliott after the police department sustained damage, including shattered windows and the front door being struck by gunfire. In addition, the state mobilized the National Guard in an effort to control the demonstrators, which ultimately evokes more anger and frustration.
Daunte’s mother Katie Wright told reporters that she received a call from her son on Sunday afternoon, stating that he was pulled over by officers for having air fresheners in his rear-view mirror, which constitutes as a traffic violation in the state. After asking her son to hand the officer’s the phone so that she could provide them with insurance details, she said she heard an officer say, “Daunte, don’t run.”
“A minute later I called, and his girlfriend answered, which was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot,” she said, visibly emotional.
Police released a statement claiming that Wright was pulled over before 2 p.m. on Sunday for a traffic violation. After running his information, officers discovered Wright had an outstanding arrest warrant. When they attempted to detain him, he got back into his car. An officer then fired at Wright and the vehicle traveled for several blocks until it struck another car.
Wright died at the scene.
The Minnesota Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union asked for an “immediate, transparent and independent investigation by an outside agency,” and also demanded the release of any body cam or surveillance footage held by the Brooklyn Center Police Department.
Police have not yet released the name of the officer who shot Wright and the case is being independently investigated by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
“We just want people to know Daunte was a good kid,” the family said in a statement. “He loved being a father to Daunte Jr.”
“Daunte had a smile to make anyone’s heart melt. He was definitely a jokester, he loved to joke with people, especially his brothers and sisters,” the family added. “He did not deserve this.”
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