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Protests as Minnesota police fatally shoot driver in traffic stop

The city of Minneapolis has again been rocked by protests and looting after police shot and killed a 20-year-old man during a traffic stop.

Minnesota police fatally shot a 20-year-old man during a traffic stop on Sunday afternoon — sparking protests and looting that lasted well into the night.

Police shot the man, identified by family as Daunte Wright, after pulling him over in the city of Brooklyn Center at about 2pm, WCCO reported, citing authorities.

It was not immediately clear why Mr. Wright, who was with his girlfriend at the time, was stopped. But police said he had an outstanding warrant.

When police tried to arrest Mr. Wright, he allegedly tried to get back into his car, leading to an officer opening fire, the report said. He then drove several blocks before crashing.

Mr. Wright’s mother addressed protesters that gathered near the scene later Sunday, describing a call she received from her son before he was shot.

“Mom, I’m getting pulled over,” Mr. Wright said on the call, according to his mother. “They’re asking about insurance,” he said. His mother told the crowd that she heard officers ordering her son out of the car, telling him to put his phone down and then telling him not to run. She said her son was pulled over because of an air freshener he had inside his car.

Protesters at times clashed with the police during the demonstrations on Sunday.

Objects were thrown at officers, tweeted WCCO reporter Jason Myles, and police deployed tear gas.

Demonstrators chanted, “What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now.”

“I don’t want everybody out here chanting and screaming, yelling, I just want (my son) home, that’s it,” Mr. Wright’s mother said on Sunday.

The tensions continued Sunday night as protesters clashed with police outside the Brooklyn Center police precinct on the outskirts of Minneapolis.

Police fired tear gas and flashbangs into the crowd, according to a Twitter post from Star Tribune reporter Liz Sawyer, and later declared an unlawful assembly.

Amid the protests, looters struck a city Walmart and shopping mall, the Star Tribune reported.

According to the newspaper, the National Guard was called in, and Brooklyn Center’s mayor, Mike Elliott, said on Twitter that he would be issuing a curfew.

Minnesota governor Tim Walz issued a statement on Twitter that expressed sympathy for a man’s family.

“I am closely monitoring the situation in Brooklyn Center,” Mr. Walz said. “Gwen and I are praying for Daunte Wright’s family as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission.

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