Police and demonstrators clash during protests over the shooting of a Minnesota man during a traffic stop

CNN's Sara Sidner reports on scene of new protests in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, after a Black man was shot by a police officer and died following a traffic stop.

Posted: Apr 13, 2021 1:10 AM
Updated: Apr 13, 2021 1:10 AM

Furious over the fatal shooting of a Black man by a police officer during a traffic stop, demonstrators gathered Monday night to protest outside the police department of a Minneapolis suburb for a second night in a row.

The familiar refrains, "No Justice No Peace" was heard among with crowd in Brooklyn Center, alongside the shattering din of conflict.

Police fired tear gas and stun guns to disperse the gathering that was defying a curfew while protesters launched "bottles, fireworks, bricks and other projectiles at public safety officials," according to a tweet from Operation Safety Net (OSN), a joint effort of local entities to ensure the safety of the public during the trial of Derek Chauvin,

"Go home or you will be arrested. Curfew violation is a misdemeanor," OSN tweeted.

It was the second night of protests after 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed by a police officer, identified by authorities as Officer Kim Potter, during a routine traffic stop. Potter has been with Brooklyn Center police department for 26 years, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. She has been placed on administrative leave, police chief Tim Gannon said.

In addition to dispersing the demonstrators, authorities responded to multiple reports of break-ins and looting. And fire trucks were called to a local Dollar Tree, according to a tweet from OSN.

The outburst of anger was happening only 10 miles away from the trial of a police officer accused of killing another Black man, George Floyd.

"I'm thinking about black America, so many people who have lost loved ones and yet we have to look at another mother who lost a child," Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, said. "I miss my bother and she's going to miss her son."

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The traffic stop that ended in Wright's death

Wright was with his girlfriend Sunday afternoon, driving to his older brother's house, when police pulled him over in Brooklyn Center over an expired tag, police said. Officers learned he had an outstanding warrant and attempted to handcuff him while he was standing outside his car.

Wright's older brother, Damik Bryant, told CNN he texted Wright moments before the shooting, asking what was taking him so long. Wright sent another text saying he was pulled over and asked for insurance information, Bryant said. Bryant told him to call their mother.

Wright gave officers his name before calling his mother, Bryant said.

"They asked him to step out the car, and you know his first instinct was, 'What did I do, what's wrong?' And they were like, 'Well, put the phone down, get out the car now, we'll talk to you about it when you get out,'" Bryant said.

"He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror," Wright's mother, Katie Wright, told CNN affiliate WCCO. "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?' And he said, 'We'll explain to you when you get out of the car,'" Katie Wright told CNN affiliate KARE.

"So, I heard the phone get either put on the dashboard or dropped, and I heard scuffling, and I heard the police officers say, 'Daunte don't run.' And then the other officer said, 'Put the phone down'" before it sounded like the phone was hung up, she said.

In the body-worn camera footage released Monday, an officer tells Wright "don't" as Wright twisted away from an officer to get back into the car. Gannon said it appeared from the video that Wright was trying to leave.

The officer whose camera footage was released is heard warning the man she's going to use her Taser on him, before repeatedly shouting, "Taser! Taser! Taser!"

Then, the officer is heard screaming, "Holy sh*t! I just shot him."

Police release body camera footage

Gannon said his release of the video was for the sake of transparency and that the BCA doesn't condone the release of video in ongoing investigations.

"I felt the community needed to know what happened. They needed to see it. I needed to be transparent. And I want to be forthright," Gannon said.

Gannon said the portion of body-worn camera footage released Monday led him to believe the shooting was accidental and that the officer's actions before the shooting were consistent with the department's training on Tasers.

"As I watched the video and listened 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," Gannon said. "This appears to me, from what I've viewed and the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright."

Gannon said he asked BCA to investigate and present its findings, "independent of me," to authorities and attorneys to review the case.

A spokesperson for the US Department of Justice said the shooting was a local matter and that the department is not involved in the investigation. The district attorney for Hennepin County said it sent the case to a different county to avoid an "appearance of a conflict of interest."

'How do we put life back together after this?'

An attorney for Wright's family, Ben Crump, called the shooting "entirely preventable" and "inhumane."

"As Minneapolis and the rest of the country continue to deal with the tragic killing of George Floyd, now we must also mourn the loss of this young man and father," he said.

For his family, it is difficult to see a way forward without Wright, his aunt Naisha Wright told CNN's Don Lemon.

"How do we put life back together after this?" she asked. "My mother shouldn't have to burying her grandchild my brother and my sister shouldn't be burying their son."

Many are looking for character flaws in her nephew to justify the fatal shooting, but she described him as a young man who loved his family and was loved by them, Wright said.

She questioned how the perpetrators of the Atlanta spa shootings and the shooting at a grocery store in Colorado were apprehended alive, but officers used force on her nephew.

"My great nephew now has to grow up without knowing, without being able to touch, his father," she said.

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