Officer Near Minneapolis Kills Motorist, and a Crowd Confronts the Police

Photo of author

By admin

A police officer in Minnesota fatally shot a motorist on Sunday in the city of Brooklyn Center, about 10 miles north of Minneapolis where a police officer is on trial and charged with murdering George Floyd last year, the authorities and witnesses said.

A large crowd of people was gathering Sunday evening at the scene where the driver died and some began to jump on and break the windows of police vehicles, according to video posted on Facebook.

Officers with protective body gear and helmets were also at the scene, according to video posted on Twitter.

Just before 2 p.m., officers pulled over a driver for a traffic violation and determined that the driver had an outstanding warrant, the Brooklyn Center Police Department said in a statement. Officers tried to arrest the driver but he “re-entered the vehicle,” the police said.

“One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver,” the statement said. “The vehicle then traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle.”

The driver died at the scene of the crash in a residential neighborhood, the police said. The police also said they believed body-worn cameras and dashboard cameras “were activated” during the episode.

A woman at the scene of the crash said she was the victim’s mother. She identified her son as Daunte Wright, 20, and said he had called her when the police pulled him over.

Mr. Wright was in a vehicle his family had just given him two weeks ago, and was driving with his girlfriend, she said.

“He called me at about 1:40, said he was getting pulled over by the police,” the woman told reporters at the scene, according to a Facebook Live video. “He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from his rearview mirror.”

Mr. Wright also said the police had questions about the vehicle insurance, she said.

“I said when the police officer comes back to the window, put him on the phone and I will give him the insurance information,” she said. “Then I heard the police officer come to the window and say, ‘Put the phone down and get out of the car.’ And Daunte said why. He said, ‘We’ll explain to you when you get out of the car.’”

The woman said she heard her son either drop the phone, or put the phone on the dashboard and then “I heard scuffling and I heard the police officer say, ‘Daunte, don’t run’ and then the officer said, ‘put the phone down’ and hung it up.”

The woman said she called her son’s phone back and that Mr. Wright’s girlfriend answered. The girlfriend told her that Mr. Wright had been shot, she said. The girlfriend was not injured, according to the police.

People, including Mr. Wright’s relatives, gathered at the scene. While some people were yelling at officers and demanding answers, Mr. Wright’s family members urged people to be nonviolent.

“We want justice for Daunte. We don’t want it to be about all this violence,” the woman who identified herself as Mr. Wright’s mother said.

She also said she wanted her son’s body to be taken care of.

“I asked them to please take my son off the ground,” she said. “He’s been there since 1:47 this afternoon.”

A Brooklyn Center police officer told people at the scene that the victim’s body could not be moved until members of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, a division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, arrived and investigated, according to a Facebook Live video.

The bureau said on Twitter that agents were en route to the scene of what it described as “an officer involved shooting.”

The episode in Brooklyn Center unfolded against the backdrop of the trial of Officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year. That episode, captured on video by witnesses, helped touch off a summer of protests around the country against police brutality.

Officer Chauvin was on video kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck, a move that Chief Medaria Arradondo of the Minneapolis Police Department said “absolutely” violated the department’s policies during an arrest.

“Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped,” Chief Arradondo said.

Neil Vigdor contributed reporting.

Source link