After a peaceful Thursday with no protesters’ arrests, Brooklyn Center officers dealt with a violent night of looting, with at least 500 people trying to force entry to the police department.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety John Harrington said that the demonstrations started with no more than 250 people in the afternoon.
By the evening, the numbers doubled with the arrival of groups bringing plywood, umbrellas, shields, and bottles to the crowds.
The looters began shaking the fence surrounding the police headquarters in Brooklyn Center and throwing glass bottles at officers who tried not to engage with them as on Thursday, but this time “the response was very different.”
“I’m saddened by what happened,” Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said. “Trying to cut down the fence to get into a safe area, their intentions were to cause harm to either the building or the police officers and deputies inside the fence.”
At least 100 people were arrested amid the mayhem, mostly those who ignored the three dispersal orders officers gave and those carrying weapons.
“We need to grieve,” Hutchinson added. “We don’t need to have more problems with destruction and deputies hurt, officers hurt.”
He concluded: “This is a night that should have been about Daunte Wright; should have been folks there, recognizing his death and the tragedy that that is. Tearing down a fence, coming armed to a protest, is not, in my mind, befitting a peaceful protest.”