The US authorities imposed a curfew in the Brooklyn Center suburb in Minneapolis on Monday, after a young black man was killed by police, sparking protests near the court as a policeman is being prosecuted for the murder of George Floyd.
Hundreds of people gathered outside a police station in the Brooklyn Center, northwest of Minneapolis, where police fired tear gas and stun grenades at the protesters, according to an AFP video service photographer who was at the scene.
By midnight local time (0500 GMT), the National Guard was deployed and Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott announced a curfew from 01:00 until 6:00 a.m. Monday.
The mayor wrote in a tweet, “We want to ensure the safety of everyone. Please keep your safety and go home.”
The mother of the murdered black man, Dawn Wright, 20, said in front of a crowd on Sunday night that he called her to inform her that police had arrested him, according to local media.
Katie Wright reported that she heard security forces asking her son to leave his cell phone before someone hung up. A short time later, his girlfriend informed her that he had been shot.
The Minnesota Criminal Arrest Office confirmed that it was “investigating a police-related shooting incident” at the Brooklyn Center, but refused to identify the victim.
According to a statement by the Brooklyn Center Police Department, officers asked the driver to stop due to a traffic violation. When they discovered that there was an arrest warrant for him in the first place, they tried to arrest him.
But he returned to his car and one of the officers opened fire, wounding the driver, and he died immediately.
The statement stated that a female passenger who was with him in the car suffered “injuries that do not pose a threat to her life” and was taken to a hospital on the site, without her identity being identified.
‘Another black man’
Pictures from the demonstration site showed men walking in front of a police car. Police fired non-fatal shots in an attempt to disperse the protesters, according to the Star Tribune newspaper.
After about an hour, the police presence subsided, the crowd lit candles and wrote messages in the manner of “Justice for Dawn Wright” with chalk on the street.
But clashes quickly resumed after another crowd of hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters, where police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse them.
State Commissioner for Public Safety John Harrington said in a press conference that “stones and others were thrown at the police station.”
He added that elements were deployed at the scene and most of the demonstrators were dispersed.
He reported that about 20 stores were looted in a local shopping mall.
Harrington said more National Guard personnel would be moved to the scene on Monday to deal with any potential disruptions.
The shooting comes as the trial of former policeman Derek Chauvin, accused of murdering black American George Floyd in Minneapolis last May, continues.
Floyd’s killing sparked months of protests in the United States against racism and police violence and sparked international outrage.
Elliott described the shooting as “tragic,” while Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz said the state “mourns another black man who killed law enforcement officials.”
$1 million in compensation
Separately, the Virginia governor pledged to conduct a full investigation Sunday after a video showed a racist police officer arrest a black-skinned army officer at gunpoint and spray pepper spray on his face.
“This is anarchic behaviour,” Lt. Caron Nazario, who is of African and Latin American descent, repeatedly asked him about his mistake.
The police accused him of not cooperating.
Nazario was driving his new car wearing his military uniform when the two officers ordered him to stop due to the lack of permanent license plates, according to media reports.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said in a statement that he had ordered police to conduct an “independent investigation” into the incident, which he said was “disturbing and angered me.”
The Washington Post reported that Nazario, an officer in the Virginia National Guard Health Department, was on his way home on December 5th when the two policemen asked him to stop.
The footage, captured by the policemen’s cameras and Nazario’s phone, quickly spread over the weekend after the latter filed a lawsuit on April 2 demanding $ 1 million in compensation.
According to media reports, the lawsuit stated that the two policemen threatened to end Nazario’s career in the army if he spoke publicly about what they had done.
“We must continue to work to ensure the safety of Virginia people while they interact with the police, that law enforcement is fair and just and that people are held accountable,” Northam said.