Police in Minnesota were seen removing a “Thin Blue Line” flag from outside their department Monday amid the second night of riots in which dozens of people were arrested in The Twin Cities. The demonstrations follow the death of Daunte Wright, a black man who was fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop near Minneapolis Sunday afternoon.
“An officer just removed the Thin Blue Line flag from outside the police department,” CBS 4 reporter David Schuman tweeted alongside video of the moment.
According to Colonel Matt Langer with the Minnesota State Patrol, 40 individuals were arrested for breaking curfew, fighting law enforcement and robbing businesses.
Authorities said two businesses, the Dollar Tree Store and a Speedway gas station, were looted and burglarized near the Brooklyn Center Police Department. Langer noted that the occurrences of looting and rioting were “pretty limited and sporadic in nature.”
During the violent demonstration, officers were also struck with debris and suffered “minor injuries.”
“[Law enforcement] were shelled pretty significantly with objects by the crowd…there were some fireworks, there were lasers, there was certainly enough activity to go well against what we’ve been saying all along, that we would not tolerate, and so decision needed to be made to push that crowd back…and to begin to disperse the crowd and make arrests for the criminal activity that was putting people in harm’s way,” Langer said.
Schuman shared video of the demonstration, tweeting, “Flashbangs being countered with fireworks now.”
CBS 4 reported that over 1,000 Minnesota National Guard troops assisted with the state and local law enforcement response.
“Thank you for all of the people who came out and exercised their First Amendment right in a peaceful manner. Unfortunately, there were those that decided not to do that,” said Booker Hodges, assistant commissioner for the Department of Public Safety in Minneapolis, adding, “For months, we have been saying that riotous behavior is just not going to be tolerated, and unfortunately tonight that is some of the things that we encountered.”
The CBS reporter also tweeted footage of a massive crowd apparently refusing to leave following an order to disperse from law enforcement.
On Sunday, Wright was pulled over for expired registration. During the traffic stop, police discovered there was an active warrant for his arrest and asked him to exit the vehicle.
Body camera footage of the incident showed another officer pull out her gun while Wright was resisting arrest. She is heard shouting “Taser” before shooting Wright and saying, “Holy s—t, I just shot him.”
She has been placed on administrative leave while the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigates Wright’s death.