About 24 people were arrested after authorities cleared protesters around the time of Brooklyn Center’s 10 p.m. curfew and after dispersal orders were given, Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer said in a news conference.
Hundreds gathered at the Brooklyn Center Police Department as some threw bricks, rocks, milk jugs, shot fireworks, and shined laser pointers at law enforcement, according to a tweet from Operation Safety Net (OSN), a public safety coalition formed to respond to incidents related to the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. Some also tried to climb and dismantle the fence that surrounds the building.
“Community members were saying tonight that they wanted the peace kept. They did not want to see their city burn,” Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said, according to the OSN. “The crowd presented significant public safety challenges … and to the neighborhood and the people who live there.”
- Local prosecutors in Minnesota are expected to charge former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter with second-degree manslaughter
- Potter was arrested Wednesday morning for the April 11 shooting death of Wright, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), which is investigating the incident
Harrington said some protesters blocked the streets with their vehicles, which could have become a “real crisis” had they prevented emergency services from providing medical assistance to local residents. Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said the majority of the people who have been arrested were not Brooklyn Center residents.
Brooklyn Center and surrounding communities issued curfews Wednesday night. Brooklyn Center’s curfew went into effect at 10 p.m.
Law enforcement officers started arresting people who had ignored four dispersal orders to leave the area near the Brooklyn Center Police Department, OSN wrote.
During the unrest, a CNN crew was chased away by a violent mob while covering the ongoing demonstrations in Brooklyn Center.
A heated exchange was captured outside the suburban police department between the crew, led by CNN correspondent Miguel Marquez, and a group of protesters, according to Washington Examiner reporter Nic Rowan. One of the crew insisted to the crowd that “it’s all peace.”
All of a sudden, a crew member was struck in the head by a large water bottle, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the ground.
Rowan, who documented the assault on the CNN journalist, told Fox News that demonstrators were urging reporters to cover the “peaceful protesters” in a different area instead of focusing the hostility between the rioters and law enforcement, saying “It’s not representative of Minneapolis and the community.”
The National Guard, the Minnesota State Patrol, and the Brooklyn Center Police Department were stationed in front of the police building on Wednesday, reports said. Matt Langer said the group largely scattered during a much calmer night after authorities attempted to clear out the remaining protesters.
Some of the protesters used umbrellas, shields and set up wooden barricades in the streets.
“The number one tool we wanted to use tonight was patience and that’s what we exercised for a long period of time, even though we saw groups coming and fortifying and we saw umbrella … plywood shields and makeshift barricades and blocks and bricks brought in,” said Langer.
Langer said the roughly 24 people were arrested for rioting and curfew violations. For the second night in a row, authorities said there was no looting, and unlike Tuesday, no tear gas was used, according to reports.
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