A rebellion kicked off in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on Sunday, April 11th, after a police officer shot and killed Daunte Wright, a 20 year old African-American during a traffic stop.
Wright’s mother reported that he had called her during the stop, stating that he was being pulled over because his air-freshener supposedly was obstructing his rear-view mirror.
Police then attempted to arrest Wright on an active warrant, supposedly because he had failed to appear on a recent court issued Zoom call in relation to unpaid charges of only a few hundred dollars.
Local residents and friends and family of Daunte quickly converged on the area where he was killed, smashing police cruisers left in the streets as riot police assembled and shot pepper-balls into the crowd.
Hundreds then rallied in protest outside of the police department, only to be met with a volley of projectiles and “non-lethal” weapons.
Looting then broke out at various strip malls and corporate stores which then spread into Minneapolis and St. Paul, according to a local news reporter.
In Brooklyn Center, 20 businesses were looted, in Minneapolis, 24, and in St. Paul, 8. On Twitter a local reporter wrote, “Minnesota’s five statewide officials quickly and unanimously approve Governor Tim Walz’s four county overnight curfew,” as state bureaucrats became terrified of a repeat of the summer uprising of 2020.
According to the New York Times:
The police officer who killed [Daunte in a] Minneapolis suburb on Sunday did so accidentally, officials said Monday, releasing a graphic body-camera video that appeared to depict the officer shouting, “Taser!” before firing her gun.
“It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr. Wright with a single bullet,” Chief Tim Gannon of the Brooklyn Center Police Department said of the shooting on Sunday of Daunte Wright, 20, during a traffic stop. “This appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr. Wright.”
Despite attempts by police to paint Wright’s killing as an accident, his killer, Kim Potter, “has worked for the department for nearly 25 years and is president of the Brooklyn Center Police Officer’s Association. In that role, she has represented other officers involved in deadly shootings.”
On Monday, after riot police had spent a night of shooting-up an entire neighborhood with gas and projectiles, President Biden called for “calm” and for protesters not to resort “to violence,” stating that people should allow the system to investigate itself.
Ironically, this latest shooting takes place only miles away from where trial of police officer Derek Chauvin, the killer of George Floyd, is currently taking place. The horrific murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May of 2020 sparked a nation-wide uprising that saw wide-spread rioting, targeted destruction of police precincts, cars, and government buildings, and widespread appropriation of goods.
Since the uprising, the elites in both parties have doubled-down on repression and a rejection wholesale of basic reforms that would demilitarize police.
President Biden has called for more funding of the police, while Republicans like Tom Cotton have argued on Twitter that, “We have a major under-incarceration problem in America,” citing growing crime-rates which have increased since the economic crisis exploded at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the face of mass mobilization, the State in both its neoliberal and Trumpian flavors have signaled a desire to simply re-double their efforts to meet both proletarian resistance and growing inequality with more repression.
Seattle, WA: Vigil and march leads to clashes with police, broken windows, and graffiti slogans being written as crowd takes to street in solidarity with rebellion in Brooklyn Central and Daunte Wright.
Portland, OR: Hundreds held vigils across the city before taking to the streets, clashing with law enforcement. According to one report:
Three vigils to mourn Wright and demand police defunding were held in Portland on April 12. The third ended with police forcefully clearing demonstrators from East Burnside Street after several of them set fires and damaged a sheriff’s office building.
About 200 protesters dressed in black bloc assembled in the grass by the lake in Laurelhurst Park for a vigil late Monday afternoon. At sunset, protesters marched towards the Penumbra Kelly Building. The building houses the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, and has been a frequent target of demonstrators for nearly a year.
Almost immediately, a short volley of fireworks flew overhead and exploded on the driveway and parking lot of the building. The shield line advanced onto the building driveway, prompting officers to briefly push back. That established the battle lines: protesters on the sidewalk and officers behind their vehicles.
Two flaming dumpsters were toppled onto each of the two driveways. More aggressive members of the crowd ran into the building driveway and targeted the windows, glass doors, and lights with rocks and hammers, before melting back into the crowd. Bottles and rocks sporadically landed on the driveway.
Portland police declared an unlawful assembly at around 10:15 pm. PPB reinforcements arrived via riot van from the east, while the garrison occupying the building pushed the crowd west, all the while deploying flashbangs and less lethal impact munitions at the retreating crowd. Officers bull-rushed the crowd on multiple occasions, pushing protesters and members of the press to the ground.
The remaining protesters disparaged officers until they retreated in a final volley of flashbangs and impact munitions. No arrests had been announced as of 1 am.
According to a statement released by the police, during the clashes, someone broken through a fence, slashing tires and breaking window of police vehicles.
Oakland, CA: Vigil was held at Oscar Grant Plaza in the downtown.
Los Angeles, CA: Vigil and memorial held.
San Diego, CA: Around 100 rallied and marched in solidarity with Daunte Wright.
Brooklyn Center, MN: Demonstrations continued into the second night despite an imposed curfew and a heavy presence of National Guard. Clashes broke out with state troopers who shot projectiles into a crowd of several hundred who rallied outside of the Brooklyn Center police department.
According to The Guardian:
Police have clashed with protesters for a second night in the suburbs of Minneapolis after the officer-involved death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright on Sunday.
Multiple law enforcement agencies swarmed the suburb of Brooklyn Center on Monday, deploying teargas, flash bangs and other non-lethal force to disperse hundreds of people who gathered outside the police headquarters.
The Minnesota governor, Tim Walz, issued a 7pm curfew in the wake of Sunday night’s unrest but the large crowd of protesters defied verbal orders by police to go home. Police fired volleys of teargas, smoke and pepper-balls, initially from behind a newly erected fortified fence, before advancing in formation and pushing the remaining protesters back.
Some protesters responded by launching fireworks towards police as drum beats pounded and people chanted Wright’s name.
Milwaukee, WI: Marchers shut down I-43.
Kalamazoo, MI: Community members rallied and protests police murder of Daunte Wright.
Kansas City, MO: Several dozen took to the streets in protest.
NYC, NY: Hundreds take to the streets; attempt to shut down major bridges.