Protesters in several U.S. cities took to the streets Friday calling for change and accountability over the latest reports of police shootings. Protests are reported in and around cities including, Minnesota, Chicago and Portland.
In Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, demonstrations continued at the local police station after Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old African American man from Minnesota who was shot and killed by police on Sunday. Kim Potter, the officer responsible for shooting Wright made her first court appearance Thursday on a charge of second-degree manslaughter for the shooting death of Wright during a traffic stop.
Police Chief Tim Gannon told reporters that Potter shot Wright when she meant to use her Taser. After the shooting, both Potter and Gannon resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department.
Brooklyn Center is a short distance from Minneapolis, a place where 46-year-old George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody last year. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on or close to Floyd’s neck for what prosecutors say was as much as 9½ minutes as he lay on the pavement, according to the AP. Chauvin’s trial is currently underway in Minnesota.
Elsewhere, protesters continued since the Sunday shooting.
On Friday, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside a park in northwest side of Chicago protesting the police shooting of Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Hispanic boy. The seventh grader was shot last month, but police only released Officer Eric Stillman’s body camera footage Thursday, showing that Toledo was shot while his hands were up and empty. The video shows Toledo throwing something down before raising his hands, but it is difficult to determine what the teenager held. Police say it was a gun. A gun was discovered on the scene, according to police reports.
Revelations from the body camera footage add to an already heightened tension over policing in Chicago and elsewhere in the U.S., particularly in Black and Latino neighborhoods.
In Portland, Oregon, demonstrators to turned violence Friday after people gathered in remembrance of those killed because of altercations with the police. Protesters smashed windows, threw fireworks, and set a fire at the Portland Police Association building, according to local reports. Police declared the protests “riots” as this was the third incident in five days during which remembrance demonstrations turned violent. Earlier, there was fatal police shooting in Portland, according to a local newspaper The Oregonian. The newspaper said it does not normally reveal a person’s race unless it is relevant. However, since the shooting comes amid a flurry of police shootings that are racially charged, the media platform revealed that the victim was a white man in his 30s.
Voice of America – English