Vigil tonight for unarmed black man shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police during traffic stop

The family of Daunte Wright, the 20-year-old unarmed black man who was shot and killed by police in Brooklyn Center last night, has called for a peaceful celebration of life tonight at 6:00 p.m. at 63rd Avenue North and Kathrene Drive, the site of the shooting.  LED candles have been requested. (Previous version said 7 p.m. but because of potential curfew it was moved up an hour.)

At a news conference today, Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said the officer “apparently meant to fire a Taser but instead made an ‘accidental discharge’ from her gun,” the Washington Post reported.

NOTE: Time moved back to 6 p.m. because of pending curfew.

The killing sparked civil unrest and confrontations with police last night outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department’s offices, the Minnesota Reformer reported. “Police deployed tear gas, fired so-called non-lethal munitions and declared an unlawful assembly as hundreds of protesters demanded accountability for the latest killing of a Black man in Minnesota.”

Wright was stopped by police at around 2 p.m. on a traffic violation in a residential neighborhood, news reports said. Police found he had an outstanding warrant and tried to arrest him. (The police department has not yet released information on the charges contained in Wright’s outstanding warrant.)

Brooklyn Center police said in a statement that officers tried to take him into custody. When Wright tried to get back in his car, an police officer shot him.

Wright was on the phone with a family member after he got pulled over, the Post reported. “Wright’s family said he told them while on the phone before the shooting he had been pulled over for having an air freshener dangling from his mirror allegedly blocking his view.”

As a result of the unrest, Derek Chauvin’s attorney sought to have the jury sequestered for the remaining part of the trial over George Floyd’s murder. Judge Peter Cahill denied the request.

The jury would be sequestered after they start deliberations, Cahill said.

In other news on the policing of black and brown bodies, the Minnesota Reformer reported that Enbridge has paid local law enforcement $500,000 for its Line 3-related work.

As a permit condition, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) required Enbridge to create an independently managed Public Safety Escrow Account to pay law enforcement for Line 3 related expenses. Departments are using the fund to pay for response to protests, for routine patrols of Line 3 work areas, and for some equipment.

Indigenous nations, organizations, and individuals have led the Line 3 opposition.

The Reformer reports:

Experts in policing question the arrangement. Kevin Karpiak, an Eastern Michigan University professor, said he hadn’t heard of an agreement like the public safety account before. But it reminded him of other public-private law enforcement partnerships, like police officers providing security for college football games, he said.

“The ethical stakes of that new relationship changes who the police are indebted to,” Karpiak said.

There have been approximately 250 people arrested in northern Minnesota resisting Line 3.

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