WORLD / AMERICAS
BLM protests continue for second consecutive night
Minneapolis under curfew
Published: Apr 13, 2021 06:23 PM
Fresh protests broke out Monday night in Minneapolis despite a curfew implemented after a police officer fatally shot a young black man when she appeared to confuse her handgun with her taser, fueling tensions in a US city already on edge because of the George Floyd murder trial.

People march through the streets of Manhattan to protest the recent killing of a black man by police in Minnesota on April 12 in New York City, the US. Photo: VCG

People march through the streets of Manhattan to protest the recent killing of a black man by police in Minnesota on April 12 in New York City, the US. Photo: VCG

Nearly two hours after the curfew went into effect, dozens of protesters continued to wave signs and chant slogans in front of the police station in Brooklyn Center, 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.

This was the second consecutive night of protests after 20-year-old Daunte Wright was shot dead by police while driving with his girlfriend.

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 was his belief 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."

Wright's killing sparked protests overnight in Brooklyn Center and the looting of a shopping mall, and authorities in Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs including Brooklyn Center announced a curfew from 7:00 pm (00:00 GMT) Monday until 6:00 am Tuesday.

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 shit, 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 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.
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