National Guard called to quell riots in Minneapolis after police shoot black man fleeing traffic stop

Violence exploded on Sunday as a 20-year-old black man was shot by police in a Minneapolis suburb after running a traffic stop. He was killed just ten miles from where George Floyd was fatally shot.

The National Guard was called out to quell the ensuing riot. A curfew was implemented as angry demonstrators surrounded the Brooklyn Center following the death of Daunte Wright.

The incident took place as the trial for the murder of George Floyd is playing out in its third week. Floyd died last May after officer Derek Chauvin allegedly knelt on his neck in excess of nine minutes to subdue him after resisting arrest.

Protesters can be seen in videos during the riot Sunday with their hands raised. They jumped on police cars, profanely flipping off officers and displaying Black Lives Matter banners. The National Guard arrived on the scene just before midnight to address the angry protesters. Looters ransacked over 20 businesses including a Walmart in a shopping center.

(Video Credit: CBS Minnesota)

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott imposed a curfew at 6 p.m. All schools have been closed and events canceled following the shooting. He tweeted: “We want to make sure everyone is safe. Please be safe and please go home.”

(Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP) (Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)

Police reported that they attempted to arrest Wright due to an outstanding warrant after he was pulled over at around 2 p.m. for a traffic violation. But he got back in his car and took off.

One officer reportedly fired at the vehicle, striking and killing Wright. The car, however, kept going for several blocks until it hit another vehicle. Wright’s girlfriend was in the passenger seat and sustained minor injuries.

According to The New York Times, the officers’ body cameras were activated during the incident. The footage has not been released.

Wright’s mother said he called her during the altercation to get insurance information since she recently gave the car to him. He claimed he was stopped because of air fresheners that were hanging from his rear-view mirror. Police were not specific in why they pulled him over other than it was a traffic violation.

His mother described the call with her son before he died: “I said when the police officer comes back to the window, put him on the phone and I will give him the insurance information,” she stated. “Then I heard the police officer come to the window and say, ‘Put the phone down and get out of the car.’ And Wright said ‘why’. He said, ‘We’ll explain to you when you get out of the car.'”

“I heard scuffling, and I heard police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run,'” the mother said crying. That was when the call ended. She tried to call him back and his girlfriend answered telling her that her son was dead. The mother did not explain why her son took off as he did after being told not to run.

She continued: “A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot and she put it on the driver’s side, and he was laying there lifeless.”

“He got out of the car, and his girlfriend said they shot him,” she claimed. “He got back in the car, and he drove away and crashed and now he’s dead on the ground since 1:47. … Nobody will tell us anything. Nobody will talk to us. … I said please take my son off the ground.” The body could not be removed until the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension examined the scene. Officers reportedly performed CPR on Wright to no avail.

One police officer was also taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries. It is unclear how he was hurt.

Protesters vandalized at least two police cars as the riot kicked into gear. They threw rocks and jumped on them.

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Police fired rubber bullets, used tear gas, and flashbangs to quell the violent protest. They reportedly hit at least two people, one of them in the head.

 

After dark, somewhere between 100 and 200 protesters coalesced outside the Brooklyn Center police department building facing off with hundreds of police officers in riot gear. They chanted: “If we don’t get no justice, they don’t get no peace.”

The crowd yelled: “Black lives they matter here!” and “Hands up, don’t shoot!” They threw rocks and other items at the officers until about 1:15 a.m.

(Photo by KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz stoked the tensions, not addressing Wright fleeing from police officers but tweeting that he was praying for Wright’s family “as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”

Brooklyn Center has a population of approximately 30,000 and is located on the northwest side of Minneapolis.

Some social media users jumped on the police-bashing narrative.

“Rioters & protesters are responding violently to the police killing of a wanted criminal suspect who tried fleeing by vehicle,” journalist Andy Ngo noted in tweets documenting the looting and rioting that followed.

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