Aggressive police response on third night of Daunte Wright protests

Law enforcement used armored vehicles, tear gas, and fired rubber bullets, but say officers were targeted with bricks and other projectiles.
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A picture from the scene at Brooklyn Center Police Department taken on Monday, Apr. 12.

A picture from the scene at Brooklyn Center Police Department taken on Monday, Apr. 12.

The clashes between police and protesters angered by the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright escalated on Tuesday night.

Videos from the scene show police using armored vehicles and firing rubber bullets from behind fencing around the Brooklyn Center Police Department as well as the regular use of tear gas, with protesters criticizing law enforcement for releasing the gas once again in close proximity to residential apartments.

Minnesota State Patrol Chief Matt Langer later blamed protesters for the aggressive scenes, bringing examples of bottles and bricks that were thrown at riot police, and said this would not be tolerated going forward.

"These objects are dangerous and can hurt people. It's as simple as that. To throw objects with the intention of hurting someone, whether a police officer or not, is unacceptable and it needs to stop," said Langer.

A number of protesters and members of the media have reported sustaining injuries from police crowd control munitions in recent nights.

Toward the end of the night, a line of National Guard vehicles moved into the area as police sought to cut off the protesters who remained. Buses were brought in to transport those arrested to jail, with police saying around 60 were taken into custody "for riot and other criminal behaviors," police say.

Unlike the previous two nights, there were no reports of looting or burglaries related to the unrest in Minneapolis, according to Deputy Police Chief Amelia Huffman, with the main scene of the unrest coming outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

The Star Tribune reports police began using flash-bang grenades in response to members of the crowd shaking the fence around Brooklyn Center Police Department, which in turn sparked some protesters to throw water bottles at police, some of which struck officers' helmets.

Also raising eyebrows over the course of the night was multiple calls from police for members of the media to leave the area, despite previous assurances from state leaders that the media was to be permitted to stay as observers to the clashes.

Police designated the crowd of up to 1,000 protesters as an "unlawful assembly" well before the 10 p.m. curfew that was in place in Brooklyn Center, and gave numerous orders to disperse before moving in on protesters.

Earlier in the evening, protesters had congregated outside Brooklyn Center Police Department before marching to the nearby FBI Headquarters, demanding an independent investigation be launched into Wright's killing.

The protests continued despite Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announcing on Tuesday the officer who shot Wright, Kim Potter, had resigned along with BCPD Chief Tim Gannon.

The death of another Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota has renewed demands for major structural change in law enforcement.

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