Daunte Wright shooting protests: Unlawful assembly declared as protesters gather near Brooklyn Center police station

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — A fourth night of protests was underway in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, and around the nation Wednesday over the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright after a police officer fatally shot him.

Brooklyn Center announced a curfew of 10 p.m. Wednesday. Mayor Mike Elliott urged people to protest without violence, saying “your voices have been heard” earlier in the day.

A crowd of a few hundred demonstrators had gathered outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters for a tense night. One video showed one protester carrying the head of a fake pig on a pole near a fence outside the heavily guarded station as police monitored the crowd from the structure’s rooftop.

“The Sheriff’s Office has declared this assembly unlawful,” police said over the loudspeaker just after 9 p.m., as the crowd booed and threw water bottles.  

“You are hereby ordered to immediately disperse … if you do not cease your unlawful behavior and disperse, you will be arrested,” said the announcement as police fired rubber bullets and flashbangs into the crowd.

Several media crews were stopped and at least one member of the press was reportedly arrested.

Earlier, police fired rubber bullets into the crowd. Casey Clements, 30, was shot in the waist while by the fence. 

“That’ll add to the zip-tie bruises I got the other night,” he told USA TODAY as he was tended to by a medic, referring to his arrest Monday night. 

He added that he’s a student who is protesting “because I feel like I need to protect the people here,” he said, gesturing to the other protesters.

Outside the home of former police officer Kim Potter in Champlin, Minnesota, 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 death last year, protesters demonstrated several times at the home of Derek Chauvin, the ex-Minneapolis officer now on trial in Floyd’s death.

Potter, the officer who fatally shot Wright at a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb, is a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center Police Department. She was arrested Wednesday and charged with second-degree manslaughter, officials said. 

Kim Potter faces prison time, fine if convicted of second-degree manslaughter in shooting death of Daunte Wright

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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Potter was arrested Wednesday morning. Hours later, she posted $100,000 bond and was released from the Hennepin County jail, online records showed.

Potter is scheduled for an initial court appearance on Thursday afternoon. If found guilty, she faces up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to Minnesota law.

The killing set off days of protests and unrest in the little city, as civil rights activists and thousands of demonstrators demanded justice and police accountability.

On Wednesday, some of his extended family came to the intersection where he was shot, carefully rearranging the lawn of flowers that had been left there in his memory or sobbing as they sat in the grass. 

“He had a 2-year-old son that’s not going to be able to play basketball with him. He had sisters and brothers that he loved so much,” his mother, Katie Wright, said Tuesday on “Good Morning America.”

“His smile – oh, Lord – the most beautiful smile,’’ said his aunt, Naisha Wright, calling him “a lovable young man.”

In Los Angeles Wednesday night, a small vigil was held in front of police department headquarters, video on Twitter showed. Protesters in Columbus, Ohio, conducted a “sit-in” in front of police department headquarters, according to a video on Twitter.

On Tuesday, a group of protesters forced their way into police headquarters in Columbus, through a set of double doors that had been secured on the interior with handcuffs. A photograph of the handcuffs shows evidence of force being used to open them.

An Ohio State University student from northwestern Ohio was arrested for hitting a police sergeant with a wooden club. The protest was peaceful up until then, police said. 

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