Daunte Wright

Flash-bangs and teargas were used to disperse the crowd gathered outside the Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police department, in violation of the curfew declared to stop the riots over the death of Daunte Wright.

An hour and 45 minutes after the 7 pm curfew went into effect, police issued a final “unlawful assembly” warning and deployed crowd control weapons.

Some of the activists outside carrying shields and umbrellas and wearing helmets responded by throwing fireworks and smothering gas canisters with traffic cones.

A “wall” made up of concrete barriers and chain-link fence was set up around the police station earlier in the day, and appears to have been effective at keeping the demonstrators away.

Police began making arrests shortly after 9 pm local time, starting with a pale, shirtless activist kneeling outside the fence shouting “Black Lives Matter” (BLM). A line of officers in riot gear physically pushed protesters about a block away from the precinct.

State troopers advanced on a makeshift barricade set up by the activists and continued making arrests as they dismantled it. At least 10 people were arrested when they got too close to the police line.

While activists chanted and confronted the police, a group of looters sacked the nearby Dollar Tree store.

During last year’s protests against the death of George Floyd in nearby Minneapolis, activists breached the Third Precinct of Minneapolis PD and burned it to the ground.

Protests first erupted in Brooklyn Center, a community northwest of Minneapolis, on Sunday after a police officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, an African-American man, during a traffic stop.

A female officer “accidentally discharged” her firearm into Wright when he slipped away from her partner and tried to escape in his car, police said after releasing body camera footage of the incident. She was giving a “taser” warning and believed to have been using her stun gun instead. Wright had an outstanding warrant for a gun violation.

Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety identified the officer as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center PD, as the officer who fatally shot Wright.

Earlier reports said:

Hundreds of Minnesota National Guards were deployed to Minneapolis and St. Paul as their mayors imposed a curfew, following a riot sparked by the police shooting of a black man in the nearby Brooklyn Center.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III have declared a state of emergency, with a curfew starting on Monday evening and running through 6 am on Tuesday.

Governor Tim Walz has called for a curfew in the counties of Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka – which cover the entirety of the Twin Cities and have more than two million residents.

“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 told reporters on Monday.

The show of force comes after Sunday evening’s riots in Brooklyn Center, a community along I-94 north of Minneapolis, touched off by the police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, an African-American man.

Officers who pulled Wright over tried to detain him over an outstanding gun warrant, but he struggled to escape. The female officer who fatally shot him believed she was reaching for her stun gun, shouting “taser” before opening fire, Brooklyn Center PD chief Tim Gannon told reporters Monday, pointing to the body camera footage of the incident.

BLM protest over Wright’s death quickly escalated into a riot, with demonstrators throwing rocks at police – and later breaking into a dozen or more local businesses, smashing windows and looting.

Photos from Minneapolis show a heavy National Guard presence on the streets on Monday afternoon, ahead of the curfew taking effect.

Twin Cities’ sports teams scheduled to play MLB, NHL and NBA games on Monday evening either canceled or postponed them. The Minnesota Twins baseball team cited “tragic events that occurred yesterday” and the “evolving situation” to cancel their game against the Boston Red Sox. The announcement came after the national anthem was already played and both teams had already started warm-ups.

The Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team, scheduled to play the Brooklyn Nets, also canceled the game and sent “sincere sympathies to the family of Daunte Wright.”

The hockey game between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues was rescheduled for May 12. The NLH said it made the decision “out of respect for the community.”

Twin Cities were already on edge due to the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis PD officer accused of killing George Floyd – also an African-American man – in May 2020. Protests over Floyd’s death quickly escalated into riots that spread to St. Paul and then to other US cities, and became heavily politicized as a national reckoning over “racial justice.”

GameStop, Foot Locker and dozens more looted

Masked looters broke into and robbed dozens of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota stores, including GameStop, Foot Locker and Family Dollar, after protests over police shooting a black man spiraled into violence.

Journalists captured videos of Minnesotans breaking into and looting a number of popular brand stores on Sunday evening. GameStop, McDonalds, Foot Locker, Family Dollar and Sally Beauty Supply were all targeted, as police were seen protecting a Walmart.

One video shows a Kids Foot Locker store with smashed up windows and doors, with a phone store beside it also broken into and wrecked.

Another video shows a liquor store being looted, with bottles smashed all over the floor.

In one video posted by photojournalist Rebecca Brannon, a female looter was heard shouting, “I need this! I need this!” as she roamed around an auto store, while in a separate clip a woman in a car could be heard telling another person in a looted Family Dollar, “When I beep this horn, that means come out.”

While cars were seen queuing up as normal at a Taco Bell in one video, the McDonald’s across the street did not fare quite so well, having also been smashed up and looted.

The looting started after 20-year-old black Minnesotan Daunte Wright was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop on Sunday afternoon. The stop was reportedly made due to air fresheners that were hanging from Wright’s rearview mirror, which is regarded by law as an illegal obstruction. Police claimed Wright then tried to drive away after they realized there was a warrant out for his arrest during the stop.

Brooklyn Center descended into chaos following the shooting, with protesters attacking and jumping on police cruisers as law enforcement used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse riots.


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