Protesters Defy Minnesota Curfew After Police Shooting

Hundreds of people gathered late Monday outside a police station in the U.S. state of Minnesota to protest the deadly shooting of a man by an officer.Police in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center fired gas canisters and flash-bang grenades to try to disperse the crowd after the start of a new overnight curfew.Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African American man, was killed during a traffic stop Sunday afternoon.  Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said he believes the officer accidentally shot Wright when she meant to use her Taser. A Taser is a non-lethal electroshock weapon used to incapacitate an individual by an electric shock thus allowing them to be approached and handled in an unresisting and safe manner.The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting.   The officer, a 26-year veteran, has been placed on administrative leave.Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said the officer should be fired.“We cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can to ensure that justice is done, and our communities are made whole.”Wright’s brother, Dallas Bryant, spoke at a candlelight vigil Monday evening and questioned how the officer could have mistaken the gun for a Taser.“You know the difference between plastic and metal. We all know it,” he said.Gannon also released body camera video from the officer who fired, which showed three officers around a stopped car. When another officer attempted to handcuff Wright, a struggle ensued. The officer is heard shouting “Taser!” several times before firing her gun.  President Joe Biden said an investigation would determine what happened and said there was “no justification” for incidents of looting violence that took place after protests late Sunday.“I’m calling for peace and calm,” Biden said to reporters Monday at the White House. “And we should listen to Daunte’s mom, who is calling for peace and calm.” In an interview with reporters, Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, urged protesters to be peaceful and focused on the loss of her son. She said he called her during the traffic stop, and she heard his exchange with police.  Katie Wright said he told her “all he did was have air fresheners in the car, and they told him to get out of the car.” She said during the call, she heard scuffling and then someone saying, “Daunte, don’t run” before the call ended. When she called back, her son’s girlfriend answered and said he had been shot.Brooklyn Center is a few kilometers from where a police officer is on trial, charged with murder in the death of George Floyd last May.Floyd’s death sparked widespread protests against police brutality and racial inequality in the United States.In response to Wright’s death, professional sports teams in Minnesota, including baseball’s Minnesota Twins, basketball’s Minnesota Timberwolves and hockey’s Minnesota Wild, all postponed their scheduled games Monday.

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