Minnesota National Guard deployed after crowds protest death of man in officer-involved shooting
The Minnesota National Guard has been deployed to Brooklyn Center after crowds protested the death of a man in an officer-involved shooting and car crash on Sunday.
Hundreds of people marched towards the town’s police department Sunday night after the man, identified by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz as Daunte Wright, died following a traffic stop and subsequent car crash.
Police said they were trying to take a man into custody after they determined he had outstanding warrants during a traffic stop. He got back into his vehicle and an officer discharged their firearm, shooting him, police said. He then drove several blocks before striking another vehicle, police 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,” Walz wrote in a tweet.
Aerial footage from CNN affiliate KARE on Sunday showed several police cars around the Brooklyn Center crash site being swarmed by crowds of people following the death. The affiliate video showed people attempting to damage police vehicles.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott ordered a curfew early Monday morning through 6 a.m. after declaring a local emergency due to “growing civil unrest,” an emergency proclamation said.
“We want to make sure everyone is safe,” the mayor said in a tweet. “Please be safe and please go home.”
The fatal incident comes as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd enters its third week in a courthouse just 10 miles away. It has been less than 11 months since Floyd was killed in Minneapolis after Chauvin kneeled on his neck. When video of his death went viral last May, protests erupted across the US.
Brooklyn Center Community Schools announced that schools will be closed Monday and move to distance learning “out of an abundance of caution following the officer-involved shooting,” Superintendent Dr. Carly Baker wrote in a message posted on the school’s website.
“I haven’t entirely processed the tragedy that took place in our community and I’m prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our students, families, staff members and community members.”
A crowd marches towards the police department
About 100 people were at the initial scene and 100 to 200 people later marched towards the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) commissioner John Harrington said during an overnight press conference.
After nightfall, the groups of people had gathered around the Brooklyn Center Police Department, CNN crews on scene reported. Officers held a line outside of the department, with some officers positioned on top of the building.
Harrington said there were reports of people throwing rocks and other objects at the police department building. There were also reports of shots fired in the area of the department, according to Harrington.
While one group stayed at the police department, a second group was seen at the Shingle Creek Mall, where around 20 businesses were broken into, Harrington said.
A majority of the crowd at the police department has dispersed, according to Harrington.
A representative with the Brooklyn Center Police Department made an announcement over the speaker announcing unlawful assembly, and gave the group a ten minute warning to disperse at 9:30 p.m.
Five minutes later, they were given a five minute warning to leave before a loud boom went off and people took off running. Some of the crowd remained following dispersal orders.
In nearby Minneapolis, Harrington said a strike team was been deployed to deal with reports of break-ins and shots fired.
“You will see a robust assortment of National Guard, state and local police departments working together over the next two or three days,” Harrington said.
Police say victim died at the scene
Police said they were attempting to take the man into custody after they determined he had outstanding warrants during a traffic stop.
The man got back into his vehicle and an officer discharged their firearm, striking him, according to a statement from Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon. He then drove several blocks before hitting another vehicle, police said.
Police and medical personnel attempted life-saving measures following the crash, but the man died at the scene, Gannon said.
CNN has reached out to the medical examiner’s office for the official cause of death.
Body camera footage of the incident does exist, but has also not yet been released, authorities said.
Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is on the scene and will conduct an investigation into the incident, according to Gannon.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.