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Minnesota National Guard deployed after crowds protest death of Daunte Wright in officer-involved shooting

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People raise their hands in front of the authorities near the site where a family said a man was shot and killed by local law enforcement, Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)

(CNN) — The Minnesota National Guard was deployed overnight to the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center after crowds protested the death of a man in a police shooting and car crash on Sunday.

Hundreds of people marched towards the town’s police department Sunday night after the man, identified by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz as Daunte Wright, died following a traffic stop and subsequent car crash.

“Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement,” Walz wrote in a tweet.

Police said they were trying to take a man into custody after they determined he had outstanding warrants during a traffic stop. He got back into his vehicle and an officer shot him, police said. He then drove several blocks before striking another vehicle, police said.

Police and medical personnel attempted life-saving measures following the crash, but the man died at the scene, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said.

The incident comes as the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd enters its third week in a courthouse just 10 miles away.

 

Curfew is ordered and schools are closed

Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told CNN affiliate WCCO her 20-year-old son called her as he was getting pulled over.

“He said they pulled him over because he had air fresheners hanging from the rearview mirror,” the mother said crying. “A minute later I called and his girlfriend answered, which was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot.”

“He didn’t deserve to be shot and killed like this,” Wright said.

Aerial footage from CNN affiliate KARE on Sunday showed several police cars around the Brooklyn Center crash site being swarmed by crowds of people following the death. The affiliate video showed people attempting to damage police vehicles.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott ordered a curfew early Monday morning through 6 a.m. after declaring a local emergency due to “growing civil unrest,” an emergency proclamation said.

“We want to make sure everyone is safe,” the mayor said in a tweet. “Please be safe and please go home.”

Brooklyn Center Community Schools announced that schools will be closed Monday and move to distance learning “out of an abundance of caution following the officer-involved shooting,” Superintendent Dr. Carly Baker wrote in a message posted on the school’s website.

“I haven’t entirely processed the tragedy that took place in our community and I’m prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of our students, families, staff members and community members.”

A crowd marches towards the police department

About 100 people were at the initial scene and 100 to 200 people later marched towards the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) commissioner John Harrington said during an overnight press conference.

After nightfall, the groups of people had gathered around the Brooklyn Center Police Department, CNN crews on scene reported. Officers held a line outside of the department, with some officers positioned on top of the building.

Harrington said there were reports of people throwing rocks and other objects at the police department building. There were also reports of shots fired in the area of the department, according to Harrington.

While one group stayed at the police department, a second group was seen at the Shingle Creek Mall, where around 20 businesses were broken into, Harrington said.

A majority of the crowd at the police department was later dispersed, according to Harrington.

A representative with the Brooklyn Center Police Department made an announcement over the speaker announcing unlawful assembly, and gave the group a 10-minute warning to disperse at 9:30 p.m.

Five minutes later, they were given a five-minute warning to leave before a loud boom went off and people took off running. Some of the crowd remained following dispersal orders.

In nearby Minneapolis, Harrington said a strike team was deployed to deal with reports of break-ins and shots fired.

“You will see a robust assortment of National Guard, state and local police departments working together over the next two or three days,” Harrington said.