A community member tries to calm tensions between community members and police after police shot and killed a man during a traffic stop Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Minneapolis. Police said the man died in an exchange of gunfire, and Chief Medaria Arradondo said witnesses said the man fired first. (Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via AP)
UPDATED 7:31 AM PT – Thursday, December 31, 2020
Officials in Minneapolis are urging the public to remain calm following reports that a man died after exchanging gunfire with police.
On Wednesday night, hundreds of protesters reportedly began “chanting and taunting” the officers who were trying to secure the scene of the shooting.
Protesters were quick to link the incident to the death of George Floyd, which happened months earlier, with authorities worried demonstrations may escalate.
“We cannot allow for destructive criminal behavior, our city has gone through too much,” stated Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo. “And so, if in fact those demonstrations or protests should evolve into civil unrest, then I will make the decisions in terms of how we can try to peacefully resolve that.”
Initial reports from investigators noted the suspect shot first at the officers before the officers returned fire. The suspect was reported dead at the scene, while the responding officers and a bystander were all uninjured.
So far, the protests have remained peaceful.