UPDATED 7:30 PM PT – Monday, April 12, 2021
The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota have declared states of emergency and enacted curfews after violent riots overnight.
Protesters took to the streets on Sunday after the death of Duante Wright, who was shot and killed while trying to flee police during a traffic stop.
The incident happened in Brooklyn Center, just 10 miles from where George Floyd died. Police were reportedly trying to arrest Wright for an outstanding warrant.
Officials released bodycam footage of the shooting, which they are characterizing as an “accidental discharge.”
They said the firing officer went for her taser, but drew her gun by mistake.
“As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s commands it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Brooklyn Center Chief of Police Tim Gannon stated. “This appears to me, from what I view in the officers reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
A curfew will begin at 7 p.m. tonight, Monday, April 12, ending at 6 a.m Tuesday, April 13. https://t.co/cZ4Emy62M2
— City of Minneapolis (@CityMinneapolis) April 12, 2021
At least 500 Minnesota National Guard personnel are already activated in the area due to safety concerns during the Derek Chauvin trial. That number is expected to increase in the wake of Wright’s death.
Meanwhile, a Minnesota GOP group is condemning the governor for appearing to prejudge Sunday’s Brooklyn Center officer-involved shooting.
On Sunday, Gov. Tim Walz commented on Twitter that “our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”
I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center. Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 12, 2021
This prompted the St. Paul Republicans to fire back, saying “governor, your words fuel fire for protesters.” They added, “you of all people should know to wait until the authorities finish their investigation.”
Riots broke out following the traffic stop incident, with several businesses looted and structure fires set.
Joe Biden is calling for peace and calm in Minnesota following the recent officer-involved shooting. Speaking on the incident, Biden said there is absolutely no justification for violence in protests.
He also said Americans have to wait and see what the investigation into the shooting finds, adding it remains to be determined if it was intentional or not.
“There are already federal resources, and we have a significant, we’ve spent a significant amount of time on relating to this particular case and dealing with what may be the aftermath of anything that happens with the trial that’s underway,” Biden stated. “But there will not be lack of help and support from the federal government if the local authorities believe it’s something that is needed.”
Biden declined to say what outcome he expects to see in the Chauvin trial, instead stating he is hopeful the majority of people in the area will support it.