Hundreds of Minnesota National Guards were deployed to Minneapolis and St. Paul as their mayors imposed a curfew starting at 7 pm, following a riot sparked by the police shooting of a black man in the nearby Brooklyn Center.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter III have declared a state of emergency, with a curfew starting on Monday evening and running through 6 am on Tuesday.
Governor Tim Walz has called for a curfew in the counties of Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka – which cover the entirety of the Twin Cities and have more than two million residents.
“You will see a robust assortment of National Guard, state and local police departments working together over the next two or three days,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington told reporters on Monday.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT — The police shooting of a Black man in a Minneapolis suburb appeared to be an ‘accidental discharge’ by an officer who drew her gun rather than her Taser, the police chief said, after body-cam footage of the shooting was released https://t.co/C3hNW7RmsSpic.twitter.com/Qb33T26pAk
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 12, 2021
The show of force comes after Sunday evening’s riots in Brooklyn Center, a community along I-94 north of Minneapolis, touched off by the police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, an African-American man.
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Officers who pulled Wright over tried to detain him over an outstanding gun warrant, but he struggled to escape. The female officer who fatally shot him believed she was reaching for her stun gun, shouting “taser” before opening fire, Brooklyn Center PD chief Tim Gannon told reporters Monday, pointing to the body camera footage of the incident.
Black Lives Matter protest over Wright’s death quickly escalated into a riot, with demonstrators throwing rocks at police – and later breaking into a dozen or more local businesses, smashing windows and looting.
Photos from Minneapolis show a heavy National Guard presence on the streets on Monday afternoon, ahead of the curfew taking effect.
Meanwhile, Twin Cities’ sports teams scheduled to play MLB, NHL and NBA games on Monday evening either canceled or postponed them. The Minnesota Twins baseball team cited “tragic events that occurred yesterday” and the “evolving situation” to cancel their game against the Boston Red Sox. The announcement came after the national anthem was already played and both teams had already started warm-ups.
The Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team, scheduled to play the Brooklyn Nets, also canceled the game and sent “sincere sympathies to the family of Daunte Wright.”
The hockey game between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues was rescheduled for May 12. The NLH said it made the decision “out of respect for the community.”
Twin Cities were already on edge due to the ongoing trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis PD officer accused of killing George Floyd – also an African-American man – in May 2020. Protests over Floyd’s death quickly escalated into riots that spread to St. Paul and then to other US cities, and became heavily politicized as a national reckoning over “racial justice.”
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