(The Center Square) — The mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul have enacted a curfew from 7 p.m. Monday through 6 a.m. Tuesday to prevent large-scale rioting a day after a Minnesota police officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black male.
At a press conference on Monday, Brooklyn Center’s police chief Tim Gannon presented body-camera video. Police said an officer apparently confused a gun with a Taser, citing body camera footage of an officer saying she was going to use her Taser. But after pressing the trigger, the officer appeared to say, “Holy [expletive], I shot him.”
Gannon said it was “an accidental discharge” that resulted in the tragic death. Wright was stopped for a traffic violation and detained for an outstanding warrant.
The curfew will cover Anoka, Hennepin, and Ramsey counties and will exempt credentialed individuals and organizations such as the media or people traveling to and from work.
“The curfew does include exemptions for credentialed individuals and organizations,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a press conference.
“The anguish we are suffering cannot translate into violence, destroying livelihoods, destroying locally owned businesses that our communities have poured their hearts and soul into for decades,” Frey said.
Public safety commissioner John Harrington said the curfew starts at 7 p.m. because curfews that start after sundown are harder to enforce.
Harrington called for people to express their First Amendment rights peacefully at safe places such as houses of worship.
The shooting happened less than a year after the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody that erupted into roughly $500 million of damage in the Twin Cities.
“You will see literally hundreds and hundreds of uniformed individuals out with a very simple mission: keep the peace, protect people’s Constitutional rights, and to do it with dignity and respect,” Harrington said.
Minnesota National Guard Major General Shawn Manke said he expects more than 1,000 soldiers on the ground in the Twin Cities by the end of today.
Gov. Tim Walz called for people to protest peacefully, but also warned “that those who wish to do harm or destruction to property or to put people at risk, it won’t be tolerated.”