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Brooklyn Center Schools Go Remote as Unrest Over Daunte Wright Shooting Plagues City

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Schools in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, closed down on Sunday requiring students to go remote amid unrest in the suburb following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright.

“All students in grades E-12 will be in distance learning on Monday, April 12. Our school buildings will also be closed for the day. All programs, including Centaur Plus and Centaur Beginnings, and all after-school activities are also canceled,” Brooklyn Center Community Schools wrote in a statement on Sunday. “This decision is being made out of an abundance of caution following the officer-involved shooting that took place in Brooklyn Center earlier today and not knowing what will unfold overnight in our community.”

“We are focused on taking steps in the moment. I haven’t entirely processed the tragedy that took place in our community and I’m prioritizing the safety and well-being of our students, families, staff members and community members,” the statement added.

The decision by Brooklyn Center schools comes shortly after Wright, a Black man, was fatally shot by officers with the Brooklyn Center Police Department.

According to the Associated Press, the incident occurred on Sunday at around 2 p.m. local time, when officers pulled Wright over for an unspecified traffic violation.

During the traffic stop, officers discovered that Wright had an outstanding warrant. According to the AP, police said in a statement that when they tried to arrest Wright, he got back into his car and fled. Officers fired their guns at Wright, striking him as he drove away. Wright continued to drive and hit a vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Despite the statement from the police, Wright’s mother, Katie said her son was shot by police before getting back into his car, according to the AP.

The fatal shooting has prompted protests across Brooklyn Center, prompting the schools in the area to close down.

Brooklyn Center Community Schools directed The Liberty Buzz to its announcement on Sunday after reaching out for comment.

A person carries a Black Lives Matter flag outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Protesters confronted police outside the station last night after the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by a member of the Brooklyn Center police.
Stephen Maturen/Getty

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

A Black man died after being shot by police during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, sparking violent protests that lasted into Monday as officers in riot gear clashed with demonstrators and the man’s mother called for calm.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz tweeted that he was praying for Wright’s family “as our state mourns another life of a Black man taken by law enforcement.”

Speaking before the unrest, Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, urged protesters to stay peaceful and focused on the loss of her son.

“All the violence, if it keeps going, it’s only going to be about the violence. We need it to be about why my son got shot for no reason,” she said to a crowd near the shooting scene in Brooklyn Center, a city of about 30,000 people on the northwest border of Minneapolis. “We need to make sure it’s about him and not about smashing police cars, because that’s not going to bring my son back.”

Protesters who gathered near the scene waved flags and signs reading “Black Lives Matter.” Others walked peacefully with their hands held up. On one street, someone wrote in multi-colored chalk: “Justice for Daunte Wright.”

Katie Wright said her son called her as he was getting pulled over.

“All he did was have air fresheners in the car, and they told him to get out of the car,” Wright said. During the call, she said she heard scuffling and then someone saying “Daunte, don’t run” before the call ended. When she called back, her son’s girlfriend answered and said he had been shot.

A female passenger sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the crash, authorities said. Katie Wright said that passenger was her son’s girlfriend.

Court records show Wright was being sought on allegations that he fled from officers and possessed a gun without a permit during an encounter with Minneapolis police in June. In that case, a statement of probable cause said police got a call about a man waving a gun who was later identified as Wright.

Shortly after the shooting, demonstrators began to gather, with some jumping atop police cars. Marchers also descended on the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where rocks and other objects were thrown at officers, authorities said. The protesters had largely dispersed by 1:15 a.m. Monday.

About 20 businesses were broken into at the city’s Shingle Creek shopping center, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said at a news conference.

The National Guard was activated, and Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced a curfew that expired shortly before daybreak.

Police said Brooklyn Center officers wear body cameras, which they believe were activated during the traffic stop. The department said it has asked the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to investigate.

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer charged in Floyd’s death, continued Monday. Floyd, a Black man, died May 25 after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck. Prosecutors say Floyd was pinned for 9 minutes, 29 seconds.

More National Guard members and state law enforcement personnel were to be deployed around the Twin Cities and in Brooklyn Center in addition to teams already in place for Chauvin’s trial at the Hennepin County courthouse in Minneapolis, Harrington said.

There was no visible increase in the already high security presence on Monday morning outside the courthouse, which was fortified ahead of Chauvin’s trial with tall fencing topped with barbed wire and coils of razor wire between the fences and concrete barriers. National Guard troops with military vehicles, sheriff’s deputies and county security guards continued to stand watch.

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