Retailers in Brooklyn Center, Minn., were hit by looters yesterday amid unrest that followed the fatal police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man.
In multiple videos shared by social media users, people were spotted carrying merchandise out of Nike, Foot Locker and Family Dollar stores in the suburb, which is located at the northwest border of Minneapolis. Several businesses near a Walmart outpost off the state highway were also said to have been left with broken windows and empty shelves.
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At a press briefing, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety John Harrington said that the National Guard had been deployed after about 20 Brooklyn Center businesses had been looted.
FN has reached out to Nike, Foot Locker, Family Dollar and Walmart for comment.
The activity occurred just hours after a Brooklyn Center police officer shot and killed Daunte Wright during a traffic stop. According to the Brooklyn Center Police Department, as reported by The Star Tribune, officers pulled over a car for a traffic violation shortly before 2 p.m. near 63rd Avenue North and Orchard Avenue. The driver — later identified by family members as Daunte Wright — was said to have had a warrant and attempted to get back into the vehicle as officers attempted to take him into custody. An officer then shot Wright, who reentered the vehicle and drove several blocks before crashing into another vehicle. Police said the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, while a female passenger was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The deadly shooting also ignited clashes between protesters and law enforcement. Last night, hundreds of people marched to and gathered outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters near 67th Avenue North and North Humboldt Avenue. Officers who were dressed in riot gear met with the crowd, which chanted Wright’s name and threw objects at the building, and repeatedly ordered the protesters to disperse. They used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the assembly.
FN has reached out to the Brooklyn Center Police Department for a statement.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott had issued a curfew until 6 a.m. today. In a statement, he said, “Our entire community is filled with grief following today’s officer-involved shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old young man. Our hearts are with his family and with all those in our community impacted by this tragedy. While we await additional information from the BCA [Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension], who is leading the investigation, we continue to ask that members of our community gathering do so peacefully amid our calls for transparency and accountability.”
Tensions in Minnesota are already stretched thin amid the ongoing trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd’s death in police custody on May 25. The third week of testimony begins today, when prosecutors are set to call on their final witnesses. Thus far, jurors have heard from 35 witnesses.