Protests have been sparked in Minneapolis by the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old black man by a Minnesota police officer.
Officers in riot gear have been guarding the Brooklyn Center Police Station, and the number of Minnesota National Guard Troops was expected to rise to 1000 officers overnight, as more than 100 protesters took to the streets. People in the crowds carried signs saying, “why did Daunte die?” and “don’t shoot.”
Katie Wright, Wright’s mother, has addressed the crowds of protestors urging them against violence and to remain peaceful.
“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.
The shooting occurred just kilometres from where George Floyd was killed, the death that sparked the worldwide protests for the Black Lives Matter movement. This new incident has increased tension amidst continuing trials for the officers involved in Floyd’s death.
Wright’s family have hired civil rights lawyer, Ben Crump, who also represented Floyd’s family in its $US27 million ($AUD35.4 million) settlement with the city of Minneapolis. Crump believes the level of force to have been preventable and has labelled it “inhumane”.
“What will it take for law enforcement to stop killing people of colour?” he said.
Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon has backed the officer in a news conference, calling it “an accidental discharge”. Within 24 hours of the shooting, Gannon released the officer’s body cam footage that shows her shouting as she supposedly mistook her gun for her taser.
“As I watch the video and listen to the officer’s command, it is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their taser, but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet,” he said.
“I’ll tase you! I’ll tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” the officer said in the video.
After she is documented shooting the man, the car drives off and the officer says, “holy sh-t! I shot him!”
Photo: George Floyd Protests San Fancisco available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.