Minneapolis erupted in looting and rioting late last night following the death of 20-year-old black man Daunte Wright, who was shot while trying to flee from police during a traffic stop.
The events occurred in the Hennepin County town of Brooklyn Center, located on the Minneapolis border, when police attempted to arrest Wright when they determined there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest, according to Fox News April 12.
Wright slipped away from the officers and managed to get back into his vehicle, but was struck by fire opened by one of the officers, then crashed into another car after advancing several hundred yards.
In the resulting accident, a woman front passenger of the other car was slightly injured.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington spoke about the incident during a press conference. He reported that about 20 commercial establishments had been robbed in the city’s Shingle Creek Mall.
“All of the big screen TV’s are gone,” reported a Walmart store employee, Thomas, as he collected some looted and abandoned items outside the store, according to the local Minneapolis Star Tribune. Some premises were completely destroyed.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott issued a curfew order until 6 a.m. Monday morning. City officials shut down all school buildings, programs, and activities.
Protesters jumped on police cars and attacked officers. They had earlier thrown rocks and other objects at Brooklyn Center Police Department officers.
National Guard troops, in reinforcements, arrived shortly after midnight.
According to a report by journalist Andy Ngo, members of the Marxist group Black Lives Matter (BLM) were reportedly involved.
“BLM protesters began rioting near Minneapolis in response to the police-involved shooting of a suspected gang member,” Ngo wrote.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 12, 2021
Some protesters waved flags and carried signs with the “Black Lives Matter” wording that identifies the movement. In one street, written in multicolored chalk was “Justice for Daunte Wright.”
Wright’s death is made even more sensitive because the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged in the death of George Floyd, a man of African descent, is taking place in Minneapolis.
Floyd’s death sparked a massive wave of rioting in the country last year, which resulted in many people’s deaths, including police officers, with arson and the destruction of small businesses seen everywhere.
Now, some 500 members of the Minnesota National Guard are supporting Operation Safety Net, established for the duration of this complicated trial.
The Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial is taking place, is surrounded by concrete barriers, iron fences, and barbed wire to control entry.
With numerous police deployed in this area, many other sites are left unprotected and in the hands of criminals, according to retired sergeant Betsy Brantner Smith, spokesperson for the National Police Association (NPA).
Smith warned that Minneapolis foresaw “inevitable rioting” because “no matter how this case turns out, violence is likely.”
The police department is short of about 250 officers, in part because of retirements, injuries, and post-traumatic stress experienced by officers during the riots over the summer, he added.