Daunte Wright, a black man, died after being shot during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, sparking violent protests that lasted into Monday as officers in riot gear clashed with demonstrators.
The man was identified by family as 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who died Sunday in a metropolitan area, according to Associated Press. The judge in that case refused Monday to sequester the jury after a defense 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 Daunte Wright’s family “as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”
Officers stopped a motorist shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday for an unspecified traffic violation, police said in a statement. Authorities planned to provide an update later Monday.
After determining the driver had an outstanding warrant, police said they tried to arrest him. Then the driver reentered the vehicle, and an officer fired, striking him, police said. The vehicle traveled several blocks before striking another vehicle.
Court records show Daunte Wright was being sought on allegations that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June. In that case, a statement of probable cause said police got a call about a man waving a gun who was later identified as Wright.
Shortly after the shooting, demonstrators began to gather, with some jumping atop police cars. Marchers also descended on the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where rocks and other objects were thrown at officers, authorities said. The protesters had largely dispersed by 1:15 a.m. Monday.
About 20 businesses were broken into at the city’s Shingle Creek shopping center, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said at a news conference.
Who is Daunte Wright?
Daunte Wright has several Facebook pages. His Fammo Gammo Facebook page is still live as of Monday morning at 10:33 AM CT.
According to multiple Facebook pages Daunte Wright used over his 20-year life, the Minneapolis resident was born in Chicago and moved to Minnesota when he was young. He said he attended both Edison High School and Blaine High School and studied at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
Friends tagged his most recent page, where he used the name Fammo Gamble, after his death. One friend wrote, “@ Fammo Gamble nooooo😭😭😭nooooo I hate this 🥺” Another wrote, “Rip Daunte Wright Fammo Gamble ❤️🙏🏼” He wrote in his Facebook profile, “Hustle now ball later.”
Wright’s aunt wrote on Facebook, “My nephew fly high I love you!!! Black life’s matter. U didn’t deserve this.” A relative wrote, “SAY HIS NAME! DAUNTE WRIGHT! MY GREAT NEPHEW IS NOW FATHERLESS ALL DUE TO AIR FRESHNERS IN HIS FATHER’S WINDOW! Yall POLICE ARE HEARTLESS.”
Following video shows Daunte Wright waving gun:
Andy Ngo also reported on the divergence in BLM-driven public image and the rest of the available photos of Daunte Wright.
National Guard activated after police shooting of Daunte Wright
The National Guard was activated, and Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced a curfew that expired shortly before daybreak.
At least 500 Minnesota National Guard personnel have been activated across the Twin Cities on Monday in support of Operation Safety Net during the trial for Derek Chauvin.
Police said Brooklyn Center officers wear body cameras, which they believe were activated during the traffic stop. The department said it has asked the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to investigate.
“Our entire community is filled with grief following today’s officer-involved shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20 year old young man. Our hearts are with his family, and with all those in our community impacted by this tragedy,” Elliott said in a statement. “While we await additional information from the BCA [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] who is leading the investigation, we continue to ask that members of our community gathering do so peacefully, amid our calls for transparency and accountability.”
Demonstrators on Sunday evening walked to the Brooklyn Center police headquarters near North 67th and North Humboldt avenues, where people pushed past police tape and confronted officers in riot gear, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. The group of about 500 protesters was repeatedly ordered to disperse by officers, who then used tear gas, flash bangs and rubber bullets on the crowd. The police headquarters sign was covered in graffiti and later climbed by demonstrators chanting Wright’s name.
Meanwhile, all Brooklyn Center students were to attend online classes Monday because school buildings were closed, Superintendent Carly Baker said.
Minnesota Republicans slam Gov. Tim Walz
Minnesota Republicans slammed Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, for seeming to condemn law enforcement for the death of Daunte Wright before the authorities finish their investigation.
“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center. 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 on Twitter on Sunday night.
The Minnesota GOP accused Walz of “perpetuating a narrative of an unknown situation.”
“A Governor’s responsibility is minimize turmoil, not fan the flames in challenging times,” the Minnesota GOP said in a statement to Fox News. “We pray for the family and friends of Daunte Wright, and hope for a expediency in the investigation process. For a Governor to lead by casting blame and perpetuating a narrative of an unknown situation is not only irresponsible, it’s conduct unbecoming a Governor. We call on Governor Tim Walz to censure himself if he is not able to practice the discipline needed to lead our state in a way that helps us move forward together.”
“Governor, your words fuel fire for protesters. You of all people should know to wait until the [Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] finish their investigation. In your tweet, you should have stopped after the words, ‘praying for Duante [sic] Wright’s family.’ Everything after that was inappropriate,” Saint Paul Republicans wrote on Twitter.