Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as angry protests erupted in a Minneapolis suburb after a 20-year-old black man was shot dead during a traffic stop.
The unrest in Brooklyn Centre came hours before the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering George Floyd, was set to resume in a courtroom less than 16km away, yesterday.
Outside of the Brooklyn Centre Police Department on Sunday night, smoke billowed as a line of police officers fired rubber bullets and chemical agents at protesters, some of whom lobbed rocks, bags of garbage and water bottles at the police.
Brooklyn Centre’s mayor ordered a curfew until 6am (1100 GMT), and the local school superintendent said the district would move to remote learning “out of an abundance of caution”.
The man killed by police was identified by relatives and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz as Daunte Wright, 20.
Walz said in a statement that he was monitoring the unrest as “our state mourns another life of a black man taken by law enforcement”.
Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters at the scene that she had received a call from her son on Sunday afternoon telling her that police had pulled him over for having air fresheners dangling from his rear-view mirror, illegal in Minnesota.
She could hear police tell her son to get out the vehicle, she said.
“I heard scuffling, and I heard police officers say, ‘Daunte, don’t run’,” she said through tears.
The call ended.
When she dialled his number again, his girlfriend answered and said he was dead in the driver’s seat.
In a statement, Brooklyn Centre police said officers pulled over a man for a traffic violation just before 2pm, and found he had an outstanding arrest warrant.
As police tried to arrest him, he got back in the car.
One officer shot the man, who was not identified in the statement.
The man drove several blocks before striking another vehicle and dying at the scene.
Police say both officers’ body cameras were recording during the incident.
The state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said it was investigating the shooting.
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