The killing of yet another African American in the United States sparked mass looting and vandalism. Videos from the state of Minnesota show people running away from stores gripping boxes in their hands.
Protests in the city of Brooklyn Center prompted the authorities to introduce a curfew before 6 a.m. April 12 local time. Mayor Mike Elliott on his Twitter page urged the local population to go home. The National Guard has been deployed in the city to maintain order amid violent protests, CNN reports.
Earlier it was reported that a police officer shot and killed a black man in his car in Minneapolis during a traffic stop on April 11. This inflamed already raw tensions between police and community members in the midst of the Derek Chauvin trial.
The shot man, 20-year-old Dante Wright, was driving with a girlfriend when the police stopped him. According to his relatives, the officers did not like Wright's car air freshener. The police claimed there was a valid arrest warrant against the driver. Wright was shot when he decided to leave. The car drove a a few hundred meters and stopped, having crashed into another car. Dante Wright was found dead on the scene.
On Sunday evening, the police wearing protective uniforms had to defend the perimeter of the central precinct in Brooklyn Center, which is located just a few kilometers north of downtown Minneapolis, from demonstrators. The police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
Protesters showered two police vehicles with rocks. A mall was robbed in the city at around the same time, and gunshots were fired at the door of a police station in nearby Brooklyn Park, according to local media reports. About 20 shops in the vicinity of the city were pogromed.
The trial of Derek Chauvin, a former police officer who is accused of the murder of George Floyd, is underway in the city for three weeks already. Floyd's death triggered large-scale protests against racism in dozens of US cities and around the world. Chauvin, 45, faces up to 40 years in prison, but he does not plead guilty. In May 2020, Chauvin pressed his knee against George Floyd's neck and kept him on the ground in that position for nine minutes, thus causing him to die.
The trial is expected to last for at least a month. Police expect protests to erupt again during and after the trial.