Story at a glance
- A 20-year-old Black man, who is also a father, was shot and killed by police in Minnesota.
- The killing sparked protests against continuing police brutality against Black Americans.
- Almost one year after the police killing of George Floyd, the city is once again in turmoil.
Not far from the courthouse where Derek Chauvin’s trial in the killing of George Floyd is taking place, protesters gathered after another man was killed by police in Minnesota.
Daunte Wright was shot by Brooklyn Center police after he "re-entered" the vehicle, according to police, who were trying to take him into custody. The car traveled several blocks and crashed into another vehicle; he died on the scene and a female passenger, reportedly his girlfriend, was injured and taken to the hospital.
The 20-year-old Black man reportedly called his mother and was on the phone with her when he was arrested for having air fresheners dangling from a rearview mirror of the car.
THE LATEST ON THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT
Brooklyn Center Police did not say what the traffic stop or the outstanding warrant was for, but the Minnesota Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it was not a felony charge. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting.
Words on the street say “Justice for Daunte Wright.’ His mother just spoke to us. She says he called to tell her he was being pulled over by police. Says the next time she saw him he was laying on the ground dead. @kare11 pic.twitter.com/bN1R7la4WB— Charmaine Nero (@CNeroTV) April 11, 2021
Some in the crowd threw rocks and garbage at the cops, they responded with about 8 canisters of tear gas that mostly blew back in their faces. They shot 4-6 more about 15 mins later. Wright’s mother bought him a car a week ago. She was on the phone with him when he was shot. pic.twitter.com/tVBrTnPvuW— jelani cobb (@jelani9) April 12, 2021
"The ACLU-MN has 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," the organization said in a statement. "While we are waiting to learn more, we must reiterate that police violence and killings of people of color must end, as must the over-policing and racial profiling that are endemic to our white supremacist system of policing."
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said on Twitter he was monitoring the situation and praying for Wright’s family.
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.— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 12, 2021
Incidents of police brutality against Black Americans continue to be caught on camera over a year after Floyd’s death. On Sunday, a Virginia police officer who pepper-sprayed an Army officer during a traffic stop last year was fired after video of the stop was released last week.
Cities where Black Lives Matter protests were held have seen up to a 20 percent decrease in police killings in the following years, according to a preprint of a recent study, dating back to the beginning of the movement in 2013. But more people were killed by police in 2020 than in 2019, and Black Americans are still disproportionately victims of arrest and police violence. After Floyd’s death last year, protests across the country led to reforms, but activists argue not enough has changed.
READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA