Residents in a Minneapolis suburb are up in arms after police shot and killed a Black man on Sunday during what should have been a routine traffic stop.
According to the Brooklyn Center Police Department, officers stopped Daunte Wright, 20, over a traffic violation on Sunday afternoon. Officers say that’s when they discovered Wright had a warrant out for his arrest. The Department says at one point Wright was outside of his vehicle, but he re-entered his vehicle when officers attempted to arrest him. Moments later, one of the officers shot Wright. His vehicle then traveled for several blocks before crashing into another vehicle. Authorities eventually pronounced Wright dead at the scene.
Wright’s mother, Katie, says her son called her during the traffic stop, according to The Associated Press. The 20-year-old informed her that he was being pulled over for having air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror. Moments later, she says she heard scuffling. The phone call ended and when she called back, Wright’s girlfriend, who was a passenger in the car, answered and informed Katie that her son had been shot.
In response to the shooting, violent protests erupted in Brooklyn Center on Sunday afternoon until early Monday morning. Angry residents called for the officers involved in Wright’s death to face charges.
Officers unleashed rubber bullets and tear gas on protesters. The National Guard was also deployed to quell the protests. Brooklyn Center’s Mayor Mike Elliott is calling this shooting “tragic,” and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz says, “Our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”
Sunday’s shooting comes while ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for killing George Floyd in May 2020. Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for over 9 minutes while Floyd called out for his mom and said he couldn’t breathe. He was pronounced dead on the scene.