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What to know about the murder of Daunte Wright

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Sunday night after the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old black man Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.

The shooting has instilled more frustration and anxiety in the Twin Cities area, where the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop charged with the George Floyd murder, is now in its third week.

Here’s what we know about what happened at the Brooklyn Center.

According to Brooklyn Center Police Department Chief Tim Gannon, officers arrested Mr. Wright on Sunday afternoon for a traffic violation related to expired registration tags. Officers then discovered that he had a warrant for his arrest.

As police attempted to detain Mr. Wright, he got back into his car, which prompted a brief fight with officers, Chief Gannon said.

In body camera footage shown to reporters on Monday, an officer can be seen pointing a handgun at him and shouting “Taser.” After the car pulls away, the officer yells obscenity and says, “I just shot him” to two other officers, according to the video.

The car traveled several blocks and struck another vehicle. Police and medical staff pronounced Mr. Wright dead at the scene.

“I believe the officer intended to deploy his Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Chief Gannon said at a press conference. “It appears to me from what I saw and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately thereafter, that this was an accidental discharge which resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.

Court records indicate that a judge issued a warrant against Mr Wright earlier this month after missing a court appearance. He was facing two misdemeanor charges after Minneapolis police said he carried an unlicensed pistol and ran away from police last June.

Chief Gannon did not identify the officer who fired the gun, saying she was put on administrative leave.

He said the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Arrest, the investigating agency, would release the names of the officers involved.

Katie Wright, who identified herself as the victim’s mother, told reporters her son was driving a car his family had given him two weeks ago and had called her when he was arrested .

“He said they arrested him because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror,” she said.

Ms Wright added that her son was driving with his girlfriend when he was shot. Police said a woman in the car had non-fatal injuries as a result of the crash.

She said her son dropped or hung up the phone, after which she heard “fights” and an officer telling Mr. Wright not to run. Then, she said, someone hung up. When she called back, her son’s girlfriend responded and told her he had been shot.

During a vigil near the scene of Mr Wright’s death on Sunday, his mother urged protesters to remain peaceful.

“We want justice for Daunte,” she said. “We don’t want it to be all this violence.”

But hours later, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, protesters chanted and threw bricks and cans at police officers. Protesters moved closer to the building until they were pushed back after officers fired projectiles that erupted with a loud bang and gas that burned their throats and eyes. The gas reached the apartment buildings across the street.

John Harrington, the commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said the unrest following Mr. Wright’s death spilled over into a Brooklyn Center mall and people broke into about twenty companies.

Most of the protesters had left the police department area around midnight after National Guard troops and Minnesota State Patrol officers arrived to support officers standing around the building with anti- riot and batons.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott ordered a curfew that was in effect until 6 a.m. Monday, and the local school principal said the district would switch to distance learning Monday “out of caution.”

At Monday’s press conference, Mr Elliott demanded that the officer who shot Mr Wright be fired.

“My position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that result in the death of other people in our profession,” he said.

Governor Tim Walz of Minnesota, a Democrat, said on Twitter that he prayed for Mr. Wright’s family “as our state mourns another life as a black man taken by law enforcement.”

Chief Gannon said police would be deployed on Monday evening in the event of further protests.

“We’re going to have officers lined up to protect this building, to protect this city, as best we can,” he said. “I am committed to protecting the city’s peaceful protesters every day. Peaceful protesters.

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