Protests Erupt After Police Shoot and Kill 20-Year-Old Daunte Wright During Traffic Stop In Minnesota

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A woman confronts police officers standing in line as protesters gather after an officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 11,2021.
A woman confronts police officers standing in line as protesters gather after an officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 11,2021.

Police shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright during a traffic stop Sunday in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis. The shooting fueled protests in the area into Monday morning.

Details about the shooting are still being gathered, but so far this is what we know, according to the New York Times: Officers pulled Wright over Sunday afternoon for a traffic violation and discovered that he had outstanding warrants. Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, said her son called her as he was being pulled over and she told him to give his phone to the officer so she could provide the auto insurance information. Cops tried to detain Wright, but he supposedly got back into his car, which is when officers shot him.

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“I heard scuffling, and I heard the police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run,’ and then the other officer said, ‘Put the phone down’ and hung it up,” Katie Wright said, according to ABC KSTP-TV 5. “And a minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered—that was the passenger—and said that he’d been shot, and she put it on the driver’s side and my son was laying there lifeless.

His car traveled several blocks and crashed into another vehicle, but passengers in that car were not injured. Wright’s girlfriend was inside the car when he was shot, but she did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is currently investigating the shooting. The officers are believed to have had their body cameras on, and dash cam video may also be available. Activists are calling for the immediate release of that footage, if it is available.

Civil unrest broke out in Brooklyn Center on Sunday decrying the shooting, but protesters eventually calmed. A curfew was enforced until 6 a.m. Monday.

Wright’s killing comes as the Twin Cities region continues to be on edge as the murder trial of trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop who killed George Floyd, is set to continue in a courtroom less than 10 miles away.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement posted late Sunday night on Twitter that he is giving the situation close attention.

“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center,” he said. “Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”