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Police tear gas crowds protesting fatal shooting of black man in Minneapolis

POLICE fired tear gas at crowds gathered on Sunday night to protest against the fatal shooting of a young black man in the United States city of Minneapolis.

Protests broke out after Daunte Wright was shot after he was pulled over by police in the suburb of Brooklyn Center in a city already on edge and midway through the trial of the first of four police officers involved in George Floyd’s death last May, a killing that sparked Black Lives Matter protests round the world.

According to his mother, Katie Wright, Duante called her to say he had been stopped by police and heard officers telling him to end the phone call. Soon afterwards she received a call from Duante’s girlfriend saying he had been shot.

“All he did was have air fresheners in the car, and they told him to get out of the car,” Ms Wright said. “He got out of the car and his girlfriend said they shot him.”

A statement from the local police department said its officers pulled over a driver for a traffic violation on Sunday afternoon. When they discovered he had an outstanding warrant, they tried to take him into custody. 

He got back into his car and one of the officers fired their weapon, striking the driver. According to the statement, all officers were wearing body cameras that were activated at the time of the incident.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota described the initial details of the shooting as troubling.

“The ACLU-MN has deep concerns that police here appear to have used dangling air fresheners as an excuse for making a pretextual stop, something police do all too often to target black people,” the group said in a statement.

“The warrant appears to be for a non-felony.”

It called for a transparent and independent investigation by an outside agency other than the Brooklyn Center Police and for the quick release of footage of the shooting, along with the naming of all officers and agencies involved.

National Guard troops were deployed as protesters gathered in the aftermath of the killing, firing tear gas and flash bangs into the peaceful crowds, according to the Star Tribune newspaper.

Many attendees had banners demanding “Justice for George Floyd.” 

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot said: “We are asking the protesters to continue to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with [using] force.”

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said he was monitoring the situation closely.

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