Daunte Wright shooting: No dispersal order issued amid fifth night of protests in Minnesota

Daunte Wright shooting protests
Posted at 7:40 AM, Apr 16, 2021

For the fifth straight night, a crowd gathered outside the Brooklyn Center police station in Minnesota on Thursday to protest the fatal police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Reports indicate Thursday’s demonstrations were much calmer than previous nights.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune and WCCO-TV in Minneapolis reports that police did not issue a dispersal order on Thursday after a 10 p.m. curfew came and went. Even as about 200 to 300 people remained immediately following the implementation of the curfew, officers did not attempt to break up the crowd.

The Star Tribune reports that some protesters threw rocks and bottles at officers on Thursday, but that the “level of tensions was much lower than previous nights.”

It’s unclear if anyone was arrested at the scene on Thursday.

Protests have taken place at the station every night since Sunday — the day Wright was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop. The gatherings at times grew violent this week — there were reports of local businesses being vandalized and looted on Sunday and Monday night.

However, since Tuesday night, there have been no reports of looting in the area. While police have regularly used less-lethal ammunition like tear gas and rubber bullets to break up crowds most evenings, reports indicate demonstrations have become progressively calmer each evening.

Thursday’s demonstrations came hours after the former police officer who fired the fatal shot that killed Wright, Kim Potter, made her first court appearance. At that appearance, Potter was informed of the second-degree manslaughter charge against her, and her next court date was scheduled for May 17.

Potter resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday. Officials with the department claim that she mistakenly fired her gun when she meant to grab her Taser as Wright attempted to flee the scene of a traffic stop.

Officers say Wright was stopped for expired license plate tags, even though they’ve acknowledged there is a pandemic-related backup in vehicle registration at the Minnesota DMV. Lawyers for Wright’s family have called the traffic stop “over-policing.”

Wright's shooting also comes as the murder trial of Derek Chauvin is ongoing just a few miles away in Minneapolis. Chauvin, a former police officer, is accused of murder in connection with the death of George Floyd during an arrest last May.

On Thursday, Chauvin's defense rested its case, meaning the jury could deliver a verdict as soon as next week.