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Brooklyn Center sees second night of protests over police killing of Daunte Wright

Plus: officer involved in shooting identified; Brooklyn Center gives mayor ‘command authority’ over police department; defense expected to start calling witnesses in Chauvin trial; and more.

Protesters rallying outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, guarded by members of the police and National Guard, a day after Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer.
Protesters rallying outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, guarded by members of the police and National Guard, a day after Daunte Wright was shot and killed by a police officer.
REUTERS/Leah Millis

The Pioneer Press’ Mara H. Gottfried reports: “After curfew took effect Monday night, there was a second night of clashes in Brooklyn Center between police and protesters over the killing of Daunte Wright by a police officer. Police began making arrests for curfew violations. … On Monday night, people chanted ‘No justice, no peace,’ as law enforcement in riot gear stood inside a fenced enclosure outside the police department.”

In the Star Tribune, Patrick Condon and Kim Hyatt write: “By shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, police began to warn demonstrators, who still numbered in the hundreds, that they were in violation of curfew. Officers began to move toward the fence in formation and issued orders to disperse. Authorities fired multiple rounds of tear gas, along with rubber bullets and flash grenades. Protesters dispersed from areas hit by tear gas were regrouping and retaliating by throwing water bottles and launching fireworks. Later, lines of police in riot gear pushed groups of protesters away from the station. At a strip mall near the police station, looters broke into several businesses, including a Dollar Tree store where flames were later spotted. At a 12:30 a.m. Tuesday news conference, Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said that 40 people were arrested Monday night at the Brooklyn Center protest.”

KSTP-TV reports: “Monday night, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension identified the officer who shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center Sunday. The BCA identified the long-time veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department as Officer Kim Potter.  Potter is on standard administrative leave. … Potter has worked for the department for nearly 25 years and is president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officer’s Association. In that role, she has represented other officers involved in deadly shootings.”

Says a FOX 9 story, “The 20-year-old shot and killed by police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Sunday afternoon died by homicide, the medical examiner says. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s report, Daunte Wright died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The manner of death is homicide. … The manner of death is not a legal determination, the medical examiner clarified. It does not mean anybody is legally culpable for the death or that there was intent to kill.”

In the Washington Post, Reis Thebault writes: “In the span of just a couple of hours Monday evening, a Minneapolis suburb appears to have fundamentally refashioned its leadership after a local police officer shot and killed an unarmed Black man during a traffic stop the day before. Brooklyn Center, Minn., which erupted in protest Sunday as word of 20-year-old Daunte Wright’s death spread, now has a new city manager and — at least temporarily — a new de facto leader of the police department after a city council vote that granted the mayor ‘command authority’ over the agency. The overhaul is likely to give Mayor Mike Elliott the power to fire the police chief and police officers, one legal expert told The Washington Post.”

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For the AP, Sean Murphy reports: “A Brooklyn Center police officer who fatally shot a Black man during a Sunday traffic stop accidentally drew her firearm instead of a stun gun, the city’s police chief said Monday. Although rare, a string of similar incidents has happened in recent years across the U.S. … Experts agree this is a real but very rare occurrence that probably happens less than once a year nationwide. A 2012 article published in the monthly law journal of Americans for Effective Law Enforcement documented nine cases in which officers shot suspects with handguns when they said they meant to fire stun guns dating back to 2001. Indeed, such a mix-up has happened in Minnesota before. In 2002, a man was accidentally shot by a Rochester police officer who thought he was reaching for a stun gun.”

At NBC News, Corky Siemaszko says, “The chain of events that ended with yet another fatal police shooting of a Black man in Minnesota began in what has become a typical tragedy — with a traffic stop for a minor infraction. … Studies have found that Black drivers are far more likely to be stopped by police than white drivers are. Not only that, but once they are stopped, Black people are searched nearly twice as often as white drivers, and the searches are less likely to yield illegal drugs and other contraband than searches of white drivers. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota said it had ‘deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target Black people.’”

In the Washington Post, Jaclyn Peiser writes: “CNN reporter Sara Sidner was reporting live on protests over the police killing of Daunte Wright in suburban Minneapolis on Monday as tear gas billowed behind her and fireworks lit up the sky when a man in a camouflage vest interrupted her. ‘Y’all be twisting up the story,’ he said in a video clip that has since gone viral online. For nearly two minutes of extraordinary live television, the man berated Sidner and accused the swarm of videographers and reporters on the scene of misrepresenting the protests against the fatal shooting of Wright, an unarmed 20-year-old Black man, by an officer who claimed to mistake her gun for a Taser. … The video, which has more than 600,000 views as of early Tuesday, underscores the high emotion in Minneapolis as the city watches the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin and the aftermath of Wright’s death. It also points to lingering accusations that the media overplays property destruction in the clashes between racial justice protesters and police. Sidner said she understood the man’s feelings and was happy to engage with him on air.”

Diane Sandberg reports for KARE 11: “After hearing from three witnesses for the prosecution on Monday, the defense is expected to begin calling its own witnesses on Tuesday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer accused in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and third-degree murder in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. Bystander video and police body camera footage showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds. In a pretrial hearing Monday morning, Judge Peter Cahill denied a request from the defense to sequester and re-question members of the jury following the fatal shooting of a Black man by police in nearby Brooklyn Center.”

From the Forum News Service: “The Minnesota Senate on Monday voted 46-21 to approve a plan to transition the state out of its eviction moratorium in an effort to allow landlords to have more flexibility to remove problem tenants. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz last year placed the moratorium on evictions as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the state in an effort to protect those who lost their jobs or were furloughed and could no longer afford to pay rent. In the months that followed, some landlords reported they’d been unable to evict renters who caused safety concerns or skipped months of payments though they’d not experienced financial hardship. A bipartisan group of senators crafted a proposal that would end the moratorium but phase in allowable evictions a little at a time.”

Also in the PiPress, Mary Divine reports: “An employee at the driver’s license service center in Forest Lake was fired last fall after being accused of possessing 120 motor vehicle tabs and a deputy registrar’s ‘paid’ rubber stamp at her house in Harris, Minn. Washington County officials terminated Kathleen Naumann, 58, on Sept. 4, 2020, a senior service representative at the county’s Forest Lake License Service Center, after an investigation determined that she had taken the items from the service center over a 12-week period, according to records.”