Curfew in Minneapolis after police killing of Black man
Policewoman say the police who fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright in the suburb of Minneapolis accidentally mistaken his pistol with a taser, causing tensions in the city due to George Floyd’s murder case.
Authorities in and around Minneapolis have announced a curfew after a police officer shot dead a young Black man, dramatically escalating tensions in the US city.
“I have declared a state of emergency in the city of Minneapolis, and we are following that up with a curfew that will begin at 7:00 pm (2300 GMT) tonight (and) go until 6:00 am tomorrow morning,” Mayor Jacob Frey told a press conference on Monday.
The curfew will also be enforced in the twin city of St. Paul as well as surrounding communities including Hennepin County, where 20-year-old Daunte Wright was killed on Sunday when a police officer “mistakenly” used her gun instead of a taser during a confrontation.
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Police Chief Tim Gannon described the shooting as “an accidental discharge.”
“The officer drew their handgun instead of their taser,” he said at a press conference.
“This was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr (Daunte) Wright,” Gannon said.
His death sparked violent protests, with officers in riot gear clashing with demonstrators into Monday morning.
The Minneapolis area was already on edge because of the trial of the first of four police officers charged in George Floyd’s death.
The judge in that case refused on Monday to sequester the jury after a defence attorney argued that the panel could be influenced by the prospect of what might happen as a result of their verdict.
Minnesota Gov Tim Walz tweeted that he was praying for Wright’s family “as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”
Speaking before the unrest, Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, urged protesters to stay peaceful and focused on the loss of her son.
“All the violence, if it keeps going, it’s only going to be about the violence. We need it to be about why my son got shot for no reason,” she said to a crowd near the shooting scene in Brooklyn Center, a city of about 30,000 people on the northwest border of Minneapolis.
“We need to make sure it’s about him and not about smashing police cars, because that’s not going to bring my son back.”
Protesters who gathered near the scene waved flags and signs reading “Black Lives Matter.” Others walked peacefully with their hands held up. On one street, someone wrote in multi-coloured chalk: “Justice for Daunte Wright.”