Man shot by Minnesota officer in traffic stop crashes, dies

By Associated Press 12 April 2021, 12:00AM

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) — Crowds of mourners and protesters gathered Sunday in a Minnesota city where the family of a 20-year-old man say he was shot by police before getting back into his car and driving away, then crashing several blocks away. The family of Daunte Wright said he was later pronounced dead.

The death sparked protests in Brooklyn Center late into Sunday night as Minneapolis was already on edge and midway through the trial of the first of four police officers in George Floyd’s death. Brooklyn Center is a city with a population of about 30,000 people located on the northwest border of Minneapolis.

Brooklyn Center police said in a statement officers stopped an individual shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday. After determining the driver had an outstanding warrant, police tried to arrest the driver. The driver reentered the vehicle and drove away. An officer fired at the vehicle, striking the driver. Police said the vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle.

Police did not identify the driver who was shot but said the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the person’s name following a preliminary autopsy and family notification. A female passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the crash.

A police officer was also transported to the hospital after sustaining injuries, according to EMS audio, the Star-Tribune reported.

Officials from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said the agency was on the scene of a shooting involving a police officer in Brooklyn Center on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Wrights demanded answers from police.

Katie Wright, Daunte’s mother, tearfully pleaded for more information regarding the incident and for her son’s body to be moved from the street.

A woman who lives near the crash scene, Carolyn Hanson, said she saw law enforcement officers pull a man out of a vehicle and perform CPR. A passenger who got out of the car was also covered in blood, Hanson said.

Public mourners included Wright’s family and friends who gathered, wept and consoled each other alongside protesters who carried “Black Lives Matter” flags, jumped atop police cars, confronted officers and walked peacefully in columns with their hands held up. On one street, written in multi-colored chalk: “Justice for Daunte Wright.”

By late Sunday, Brooklyn Center police had fired gas into a crowd of protesters who had gathered outside the police station. Flash bangs were also used to disperse crowds.

“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,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement posted late Sunday night on Twitter.

“The officer shooting in Brooklyn Center today is tragic. We are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with force,” Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said on Twitter.

Police said Brooklyn Center officers wear body-worn cameras and they also believe dash cameras were activated during the incident. The Brooklyn Center Police Department said it has asked the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to investigate.

By Associated Press 12 April 2021, 12:00AM
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