40 Arrested in Violent Minnesota Protests Minnesota National Guard and law enforcement members stand guard outside the Brooklyn Center Police Station in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on Monday. (KEREM YUCEL/AFP via Getty Images)
by Ben Sheppard with Chris Lefkow in Washington Tuesday, 13 April 2021 06:36 AM
Fresh protests broke out late Monday around Minneapolis despite a curfew implemented after a police officer fatally shot a young Black man, fueling tensions in a region already on edge over of the George Floyd murder trial.
Dozens of protesters waved signs and chanted slogans in front of the police station in Brooklyn Center, the suburb where Sunday's killing occurred.
Demonstrators taunted police through newly erected wire fencing around the station, and carried signs saying "Jail all racist killer cops," "Am I next?" and "No justice, no peace."
Police fired tear gas at the protesters several times and ordered them to disperse. About 40 people were arrested, several officers suffered minor injuries and there was sporadic looting elsewhere in the area, law enforcement officials said.
This was the second consecutive night of protests after 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot dead by a policewoman who appeared to confuse her handgun with her taser.
In police body camera video released earlier Monday, an officer shouts "Taser! Taser! Taser!" but then instead fires a gun at the victim.
"The officer drew their handgun instead of their taser," said Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon.
Gannon said it he believed that the officer, now on leave pending an investigation, "had the intention to deploy their taser but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet."
"This was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright," Gannon said. "There is nothing I can say to lessen the pain of Mr. Wright's family."
In the body cam footage, police officers are seen pulling Wright out of his car after stopping him for a traffic violation and discovering he had an outstanding warrant.
When officers attempt to handcuff Wright, he scuffles with them and gets back in the car. A female police officer shouts, "I'll tase you" and then "Taser! Taser! Taser!" — standard police procedure before an officer fires one of the stun guns.
"Holy s***, I shot him," the officer says as Wright, fatally wounded, drives off. He crashed his car a few blocks away.
How the officer mistook her gun for a taser was unclear.
Gannon said police are trained to place handguns "on our dominant side, and our taser on our weak side."
Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) identified the officer late Monday as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the police force.
President Joe Biden called the killing "tragic," but warned against any potential violent unrest.
"I think we have to wait and see what the investigation shows," Biden said.
"In the meantime, I want to make it clear again: there is absolutely no justification, none, for looting," he added. "Peaceful protests — understandable."
The protests prompted the defense attorney for former officer Derek Chauvin, who is facing murder and manslaughter charges for George Floyd's death, to ask the judge presiding over the high-profile case to sequester the jury.
Judge Peter Cahill refused, stating "this is a totally different case."
Chauvin is facing murder and manslaughter charges for his role in Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, which occurred during his arrest for allegedly passing a fake $20 bill.