- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 17, 2021

Police made around 100 arrests Friday evening in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, after a protest held over the death of Daunte Wright turned violent, a top public safety official told reporters afterward.

John Harrington, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, said the protest started peacefully but ultimately escalated to the point of police ordering demonstrators to disperse.

Activists had gathered near the police station in Brooklyn Center, northwest of Minneapolis, for the sixth consecutive night of protests following the fatal officer-involved shooting of Wright, 20.

Wright died after being shot by a Brooklyn Center police officer during a traffic stop Sunday. The officer, Kimberly Potter, resigned on Tuesday and has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Mr. Harrington said during a late-night press conference that hundreds of people had peacefully marched through Brooklyn Center earlier Friday evening before violence erupted near the police station.

Recalling the scene to reporters, Mr. Harrington said that an unspecified number of police officers were struck with glass bottles that protesters had lobbed over a fence surrounding the station.

Police ultimately ordered people to disperse after one of the fences around the station was breached and another was attacked, Mr. Harrington said. Arrests were made after the third order, he said.

Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson told reporters that some of the protesters were equipped with items that could be used as weapons, including billiard balls, rocks, bats and shields.

Graffiti, including the words “Death to America” and anti-police slogans, were also spray-painted on security barriers near the station, the sheriff told reporters during the press conference.

Lt. Gordon Shank, a public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol, said that protesters also filled plastic Easter eggs with red paint to lob at police officers, among other projectiles.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott, a Democrat elected in 2018, had originally decided against issuing a curfew Friday evening after protests held the previous night resulted in zero reported arrests.

However, after the protest became violent and police told people to disperse, a mayoral emergency proclamation setting a citywide curfew starting at 11 p.m. was announced around an hour beforehand.

Mr. Harrington, the Department of Public Safety commissioner, described the approximately 100 arrests made by police Friday night as a “pretty dramatic change” compared to the zero reported Thursday.

“Their actions dictate our response, and our response is to keep the city safe and the police department safe,” Sheriff Hutchinson said during the press conference.

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