Daunte Wright death: Protests over police shooting of black man near Minneapolis

·3-min read

Protests have taken place after police fatally shot a black man during a traffic stop in the Minnesota city of Brooklyn Center, just outside of Minneapolis.

The man has been named by family as 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

He was stopped by police on Sunday - about 10 miles from where George Floyd died during an arrest in Minneapolis last year - then got back into his car and drove away before it crashed.

He died at the scene.

Tear gas was used and rubber bullets fired by officers in riot gear to disperse hundreds of protesters who had gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department building on Sunday night, and a curfew imposed by Brooklyn Center mayor Mike Elliott until 6am on Monday morning after declaring a local emergency.

Tensions were already high in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where former police officer Derek Chauvin stands trial for the murder and manslaughter of Mr Floyd.

Chauvin, 45, was the officer seen kneeling on the neck of Mr Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds while he shouted that he could not breathe in May 2020.

The trial is entering its third week today, with the courthouse surrounded with fencing and national guard soldiers.

Crowds of protesters gathered after the most recent incident.

Some demonstrations were peaceful with signs saying "black lives matter" and chalk inscriptions on tarmac saying "Justice for Daunte Wright".

However, some people vandalised police cars by jumping on them and throwing stones.

The governor of Minnesota Tim Walz tweeted: "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."

Mr Wright's mother, Katie Wright, told reporters at the scene that she received a phone call from her son on Sunday afternoon.

She said he told her police had pulled him over for having air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, which is illegal in the state.

"I heard scuffling, and I heard police officers say, 'Daunte, don't run'," she said.

The call then ended, and she said that when she dialled back, her son's girlfriend answered and said he was dead in the driver's seat.

In a statement, Brooklyn Center police said they had pulled a man over for a traffic violation just before 2pm and found that he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

The statement added that as officers tried to arrest the man, he got back in the car.

One officer shot the man, who was not identified in the statement.

The car was then driven several blocks before it hit another vehicle, with the man dying at the scene.

Police say that both officers' body cameras were recording during the incident.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension - part of the state's law enforcement umbrella - is investigating the incident, but there are calls for a separate body to carry out an independent inquiry.

The American Civil Liberties Union has called for footage of the shooting to be released.

A statement from the group said it had "deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target black people".