Following an officer-involved shooting of a young Black male in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota last Sunday, nightly protests have brought looting and even violent clashes with the police outside of the Minneapolis suburb’s police station.
Friday night’s activities, which followed a failed attempt at a “different approach” and no curfew, resulted in at least 100 protesters and rioters being arrested after a concerted assault was launched against the Brooklyn Center police station, PJ Media reported.
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliot decided to “take a different approach” in response to the unrest on Friday after a relatively peaceful and uneventful Thursday night when the police had not been compelled to issue dispersal orders and the crowd of protesters had voluntarily left the area on their own around the time of the 11 p.m. nightly curfew that had been in effect since the shooting incident.
The “different approach” didn’t work
Unfortunately for the mayor and his “different approach,” KMSP reported that Elliot was forced to reverse course and reimpose the curfew as an emergency measure Friday after rioters breached a security fence around the police department and violently engaged with officers, throwing various objects at them and receiving, in response, police-launched flashbangs, pepper balls, and tear gas.
According to Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MDPS) Commissioner John Harrington, it was initially estimated that around 100 participants in the riot Friday night were arrested on a variety of unspecified charges.
Law enforcement officials said at a late-night press conference that they initially tried to take the same “laid-back approach” as Thursday, as the mayor had requested, but were compelled to act when a group of antagonists infiltrated the crowd with makeshift weapons and other items used to attack officers, such as cans of food, paint cans, umbrellas, frozen water bottles, and wooden shields, among other items.
“If we want change in policing, we want reform in policing — let’s do that. Let’s get together and start reform,” Hennepin County Sheriff David Hutchinson said in a message to protesters and activists, according to reports. “This profession needs help. We can admit that. We’re not perfect. We can be better. But these people are not people you should be supporting.”
136 arrested in total
MPR News reported that, according to MDPS spokesman Scott Wasserman, 136 individuals in total were arrested as part of Friday night’s unrest. It was also noted that perhaps realizing the error of his prior “different approach,” the mayor went ahead and restored the 11 p.m. curfew ahead of Saturday night in anticipation of further unrest.
In what was described by reporters as a shift in tactics, a line of riot cops suddenly rushed the crowd of protesters and rioters just moments after declaring an unlawful assembly, dispersing much of the crowd in all directions while surrounding and “kettling” some protesters while making “mass arrests” of those they caught in the area.
Mass arrests happening now in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Police kettled people and rushed from all sides. pic.twitter.com/nToYqb15aR
— Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs (@NickAtNews) April 17, 2021
Those and other tactics used by the police have caused quite a bit of consternation among activists and journalists. It was reported that the Brooklyn Center City Council had prohibited the city’s police force from using a number of effective (if intensely disliked) crowd control tactics — but those restrictions don’t apply to other agencies and departments providing assistance, such as sheriff’s departments, the state police, and the Minnesota National Guard.
In all likelihood, the violence and unrest will persist throughout the weekend, more people will be arrested, and the media will continue to perpetuate the problem by only telling parts of the story that fit their narrative. What a shame.