National Guard Deployed Near Minneapolis as Mass Rioting and Protests Erupt Over Police Shooting of Black Man

The police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man called Daunte Wright has caused renewed rioting and protests in the Minneapolis area.

Wright was shot dead by a police officer after being pulled over for a traffic violation and having an air freshener hanging from his mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota. Police suspected he was trying to smuggle drugs and found he had a warrant out for his arrest.

When cops tried to arrest Wright he resisted and went back in his vehicle where his girlfriend was sitting and started driving away to flee, at which point police shot him. 

Hundreds of protesters and rioters hit the streets, clashing with police, lighting fires and screaming “we want war!” only miles from where ex-convict and drug addict George Floyd died last year, setting off months of disorder and “mostly peaceful” chaos across American cities. 

Here we go again. 

Traffic stop 2 by JKleeman is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tear Gas and Rubber Bullets as National Guard Deployed

Police fired off tear gas and rubber bullets in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota near Minneapolis as the protests spiraled into violence and looting. “Protesters” jumped on police vehicles and screamed at officers, damaging property and trying to assault them. 

A curfew has been put in place and the National Guard has been called in. 

It’s worth keeping in mind that the trial of Derek Chauvin is also taking place at this time, the officer charged with several serious crimes in the death of George Floyd. Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck and was accused by the media of murdering Floyd, although expert testimony coming out in trial is calling that narrative into question. 

Ongoing clashes between police officers and rioters continued through Sunday as protesters demonstrated in front of the police station and Minnesota’s Governor called for calm. 

Body cam footage from the shooting is available according to police and it is being investigated by the proper state authorities at this time. According to Wright’s mom, her son called her to ask about insurance on the car and claimed he had been pulled over for having an air freshener on his rearview mirror. 

“I said when the police officer comes back to the window, put him on the phone and I will give him the insurance information. ‘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,” Wright’s mom Katie said.

“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. I heard scuffling, and I heard police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run,” Katie recalled. 

Looters Go Wild

In addition to protests and violence around Brooklyn Center, looters went wild, grabbing boxes of Nikes and Little Caesar’s pizza as they vented their frustration. It’s unclear what stealing from local businesses could do to avenge the death of a young man, but go figure.

People were shot with rubber bullets and the National Guard took to the streets. They are already in the area in anticipation of what happens if Chauvin is cleared of his charges in the ongoing trial, in which case even larger protests and riots are a definite likely event. 

Brooklyn Center is a suburb on the northwest outskirts of Minneapolis with a population of around 30,000. As we saw during the Floyd riots, anger and chaos can spread almost anywhere rapidly and is not just confined to major cities. 

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott called the shooting of Wright “tragic and said “we are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with with force.”

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