Hundreds gather for 4th night of protests in Brooklyn Center

Several hundred people gathered outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Wednesday night, marking the fourth night of large protests in the city calling for justice in the police shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.

Brooklyn Center announced a 10 p.m. curfew Wednesday — the fourth night in a row that the city has taken that action. Mayor Mike Elliott urged people to protest without violence, saying “your voices have been heard.”

Video during the early hours of the protest showed one person carrying the head of a fake pig on a pole near a fence outside the heavily guarded station while police monitored the crowd from the structure’s rooftop.

At about 8:30 p.m., law enforcement began to pepper-spray the crowd up against a fence and fired “marker” rounds at the protesters, who huddled behind umbrellas for protection, prompting the protesters to chant, “Don’t shoot!”

Others in the crowd called for “white people” to move up to the front of the crowd facing the police behind the fence guarding the police station.

“Say his name! Daunte Wright!” demonstrators chanted under a mix of snow and rain.

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office issued an order by speaker shortly after 9 p.m., declaring the protest an “unlawful assembly” and saying that those who didn’t disperse immediately would be arrested.

Late Wednesday, Minnesota Operation Safety Net tweeted that protesters who had ignored three additional dispersal orders were being arrested.

A few people tried to climb the fences surrounding the station. Others tried to take down the fences.

An Operation Safety Net tweet that was retweeted by Minnesota State Patrol on Wednesday night said that some protesters had thrown objects at law enforcement, pointed lasers at them, tried to climb the fence around the station and tried to dismantle fences.

Protesters called for more severe charges to be brought against the former officer arrested Wednesday in connection with Wright’s death.

Former officer Kim Potter was booked into the Hennepin County Jail and is charged with second-degree manslaughter. She was later released after posting a $100,000 bond.

Wright was killed Sunday afternoon during a traffic stop. Brooklyn Center’s police chief, who resigned Tuesday, previously said Potter accidentally shot Wright when she intended to use a Taser on him. Potter also submitted her letter of resignation Tuesday.

Brooklyn Center police said Wright was stopped for a vehicle registration violation but that officers discovered an outstanding warrant in a firearms-possession case. Police said Wright was being arrested when he tried to flee in his car but was unintentionally shot by the 48-year-old Potter, a 26-year veteran of the force.

Outside Potter’s home in Champlin, north of Brooklyn Center, concrete barricades and tall metal fencing had been set up and police cars were in the driveway. After George Floyd’s arrest death last year in Minneapolis, protesters demonstrated several times at the Oakdale home of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer now on trial for killing Floyd.

During Tuesday night’s protests outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, 79 people were arrested by the State Patrol, Hennepin County sheriff’s deputies and Minneapolis police for offenses ranging from inciting riot to unlawful assembly, according to Operation Safety Net.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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