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Protesters Clash With Police In Brooklyn Center After Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Brooklyn Center police say an officer fatally shot a man Sunday during a traffic stop, leading to clashes between protesters and law enforcement in the midst of the Derek Chauvin trial in neighboring Minneapolis. Here are the latest updates:

8:30 a.m.: The Minnesota National Guard announced that "just over 500 personnel" have been activated to support Minnesota's Operation Safety Net. The Minnesota National Guard was going to increase its presence as the trial of Derek Chauvin approached closing arguments, but those plans have been expedited due to the events in Brooklyn Center.

Sen. Tina Smith also issued a statement Monday morning, calling Sunday evening a "difficult night in Minnesota."

6 a.m.: Curfew in Brooklyn Center has lifted.

Schools in both Brooklyn Center and nearby Brooklyn Park will also be closed Monday with classes held virtually. All after school activities are cancelled.

5 a.m.: Highways have reopened near the Brookdale Shopping Center.

Nearly all the Minnesota State Patrol has been deployed in the city, officials say. The troopers will stand guard on Monday.

3 a.m.: Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot issues an overnight statement. He called the shooting of Daunte Wright a "tragedy," and said the city supports peaceful protests. The mayor said the city is awaiting information from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting.

Elliot says he's issued a curfew in the city until 6 a.m. A press briefing is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Brooklyn Center City Hall.

"My heart goes out to Dante's family. I recognize the pain that you're going through. We all here in Brooklyn Center recognize the pain that you're going through, and we are going to make sure that everything is done in our power to make sure that justice is done."

2 a.m.: Two men were fatally shot in south Minneapolis. Police reported several shootings overnight as the unrest in Brooklyn Center sparked another wave of looting along the Lake Street businesses targeted last summer following the death of George Floyd.

1:15 a.m.: Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said more Minnesota National Guard members will be deployed to Minneapolis on Monday following reports of looting and gunfire in the city.

In an early morning news conference, he said that Operation Safety Net, which was put in place for the trial of Derek Chauvin, will enter Phase 3, meaning all state officers will be activated. Phase 3 was originally planned for closing arguments/deliberations in the trial.

According to Harrington, the extra enforcement will include officers from the National Guard, as well as state and local agencies.

1 a.m.: Traffic cameras capture people speeding around the Brookdale Center shopping area and looting a number of stores. Among the targeted were Family Dollar, O'Reilly Auto Parts and Speedway.

11:56 p.m.: Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot says he will issue a curfew order for his city.

11:45 p.m.: There are reports of widespread looting at several businesses in the Shingle Creek Crossing shopping center in Brooklyn Center.

11:12 p.m.: Brooklyn Center schools will be closed Monday, and all instruction will switch to distance learning.

11:07 p.m.: Police with neighboring city Brooklyn Park say someone shot at the front door of their police department just after 8 p.m., shattering it. Police also say several businesses in the city have been looted Sunday night.

10:06 p.m.: Law enforcement are keeping their human chain perimeter strong around the Brooklyn Center Police Department, as flash bangs continue to be deployed.

10:03 p.m.: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz takes to Twitter to comment on the situation in Brooklyn Center.

9:58 p.m.: Law enforcement begin to use tear gas and flash bangs in an effort to disperse the crowd.

9:52 p.m.: Law enforcement appear to be preparing to advance on protesters after they were given a warning to disperse.

9:49 p.m.: The standoff continues outside of the Brooklyn Center Police Department between protesters and law enforcement.

9:24 p.m.: A WCCO crew spotted several law enforcement vehicles, including Hennepin County Sheriff's vans and armored trucks, headed towards the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

9:14 p.m.: Law enforcement are forming a human barricade outside of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, as more protesters gather.

9:08 p.m.: Protesters are said to be moving to the Brooklyn Center Police Department, located about three miles northwest of the crash scene.

8:19 p.m.: A WCCO crew at the scene is being told by activists that law enforcement is surrounding the area and "corralling" people in an apparent attempt to make mass arrests, like what happened last November during a protest that spilled onto Interstate 94 in Minneapolis.

8:02 p.m.: Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot is appealing for peace between protesters and law enforcement.

8:01 p.m.: Protesters are continuing to push law enforcement back.

7:59 p.m.: Law enforcement has deployed tear gas into the crowd of protesters.

How It All Started

Brooklyn Center police said officers pulled over a driver -- whom they said had an outstanding arrest warrant -- just before 2 p.m. on the 6300 block of Orchard Avenue. As officers were trying to arrest the driver, police say they tried to get back inside their vehicle. An officer then shot the driver, who then drove a couple blocks more before hitting another vehicle in the area of 63rd Avenue North and Kathrene Drive. No one in that second vehicle was hurt.

Brooklyn Center Officer-Involved Shooting
(credit: CBS)

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the officers involved were believed to be wearing activated body cameras at the time of the shooting.

A crowd began to gather at the scene of the crash later in the afternoon, including several people who had attended a St. Paul rally earlier in the day for the families of people killed by police. At one point, just after 6 p.m., protesters tore down crime scene tape, with the crowd and the victim's family demanding answers from law enforcement.

The victim's mother, Katie Wright, spoke to the crowd. She said her son -- 20-year-old Daunte Wright -- had been killed by police. She said Wright's girlfriend was in the car with him at the time of the traffic stop. Police say that woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in the crash, and was taken to North Memorial Health.

Wright's mother said her son called her to say, "Mom, I'm getting pulled over," and, "They're asking about insurance." She said she then heard officers telling him to get out of the car. When he asked why, officers told him they would explain once he got out of the vehicle. She said officers then told him to put his phone down, and then she heard someone telling her son not to run. She then said an officer ended his call.

She said soon after, her son's girlfriend called her to say he had been shot. Wright's mother said she went to the scene, and saw him "lifeless" by his car, which she had given to him just two weeks earlier.

Daunte Wright
Daunte Wright (credit: The Wright Family)

"I just want people to know that if you get pulled over, make sure you put your hands up and don't make any sudden moves, and don't have air fresheners in your car because that's why he got pulled over. And he was only 20 years old and he didn't deserve to be shot and killed like this," Wright said. "And I don't want all of this, all of this. I just want my baby home. That's all I want is I want him to be home. I don't want everybody out here chanting and screaming, yelling, I just want him home, that's it."

Community activist Lisa Clemons, from the organization A Mother's Love, spoke to both Wright's family and Brooklyn Center police Sunday evening.

"We're already in a trial with George Floyd, so we have another police-involved shooting, and earlier today over north [Minneapolis] we had a carjacking with guns, and I just think that we're at a breaking point as a people," Clemons said. "We hope to calm our community, we hope to let them express their pain in whatever way they want, but just not in violence."

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is leading the investigation.

This deadly police encounter comes just one day before the start of week three in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the now-former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd.

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