Minneapolis had its second night of demonstrations on Monday despite the entry into force of a curfew to prevent the conflagration of this northern city of the United States, after the death on Sunday of a young black man shot by police in the middle of the George Floyd murder trial.
“Peaceful protests are understandable” after the “tragic” death of Daunte Wright, Democratic President Joe Biden commented earlier today, saying he was aware of the “anger and pain” experienced by African Americans. But “there is absolutely no justification” for the violence, he added, calling on the population of this large city in the north of the United States “to be calm”, after a first night of protests interspersed with looting and clashes.
In addition to the city-wide curfew decreed by the mayors of the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, a thousand National Guard soldiers are hard at work to prevent further overflows.
Shortly before 9 p.m. (4 a.m. Tuesday in Switzerland), nearly two hours after the curfew came into effect, dozens of protesters continued to wave their signs and chant slogans – while taking shelter from the rain under umbrellas and hoods – in front of the Brooklyn Center City Police Station. The police fired tear gas on several occasions at the demonstrators, and ordered them to disperse.
Police say “accidental” death
Their anger follows the death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African-American, shot dead by police on Sunday while driving through the city in the suburbs of Minneapolis, with his girlfriend.
In a check related to invalid license plates, an officer “pulled out her firearm in place of her Taser,” an electric pulse pistol believed to be less lethal than a firearm, the police said. local police chief Tim Gannon, citing an “accidental” death. To support his remarks, he presented the recording of the drama by the policewoman’s camera-pedestrian. In these images, officers are seen removing the young man from his vehicle and handcuffing him. The latter then opposes resistance and sits down in his car. The policewoman can be heard shouting “Taser, Taser” to signal that she is going to shoot. Instead, a gunshot echoes.
The policewoman, who was “experienced” according to her boss, was placed on leave. His name has not yet been made public.
Chauvin’s lawyer asks for jurors to be sidelined
This drama rekindled anger in Minneapolis, which had known several nights of riots after the death of George Floyd, on May 25, under the knee of white policeman Derek Chauvin. Protesters took to the streets again overnight from Sunday to Monday and clashes took place. About twenty businesses have been vandalized.
Basketball games, including the NBA, but also baseball and hockey, scheduled for Tuesday evening, have for their part been postponed.
In this tense climate, Derek Chauvin’s lawyer asked to place the jurors on the sidelines to prevent them from being pressured. “I understand that there is civil unrest” but “I do not believe that this is a cause for further concern”, replied Judge Peter Cahill. “The closed session will be ordered for the jury from Monday (next), day when we await the final pleadings,” he added before the resumption of hearings.
In the meantime, calls to reform US law enforcement have once again resounded outside the courtroom.