Holden Walter-Warner, Daily Mail, April 17, 2021
Violent clashes erupted in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York and across the nation after initially peaceful anti-police protests descended into chaos on Friday night.
Thousands gathered on streets across America to demonstrate the fatal police shootings of black men Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright.
But as the night went on, skirmishes and clashes broke out between protesters and cops, leading to dozens of arrests and multiple injuries.
In Chicago, thousands of people marched for Adam Toledo, the 13-year-old who was killed by the police last month, before video was released on Thursday showing the shooting, sparking outrage.
The protests began before 6pm, with hundreds of people gathering in Logan Square Park, planning on marching to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s residence.
The number of protesters swelled into the thousands as the night went on, with the intersection of Milwaukee, Diversey and Kimball shut down around 7:30pm, according to ABC7.
Hundreds took to the streets on Thursday night after the video was first released, blocking traffic in the West Loop and protesting outside of the city’s police headquarters.
People in the city anticipated the protests ahead of the video’s release, boarding up windows and stores to prevent looting.
There were no reports of violence during Friday night’s protests earlier, but heavy clashes did break out with police later in the night.
Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis
Brooklyn Center, the site of the death of Daunte Wright, 20, last Sunday entered its sixth day of protests on Friday, with things quickly descending into chaos.
The police headquarters in the city remains fenced off, but that didn’t prevent almost 1,000 people from gathering there by 9pm, according to the Star Tribune.
The protests began peacefully in the afternoon, with people barbecuing, giving away food, and writing messages with chalk on the sidewalks.
Things grew more tense as the sun went down, however, with one speaker saying, ‘We’re going to make their lives miserable every night,’ a message directed at law enforcement.
Protesters were demanding greater charges for Kimberly Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer who fatally shot Wright last week.
She was charged this week with second-degree manslaughter, which protesters and members of Wright’s family believe is not enough.
There was a brief incident when Black protesters attempted to prevent white protesters from shaking fences and climbing barricades.
Just before 10pm, however, the protest outside of the police department was declared an unlawful assembly, according to KSTP.
Police began deploying flash bangs to scatter the crowd, some of whom shielded themselves with umbrellas.
Within ten minutes, the Minnesota State Patrol arrived and stated to form a blockade. State troopers then began making arrests using zipties.
Pepper spray was used against some protesters, with members of the media also being affected by the pepper spray.
The city then issued a curfew from 11pm to 6am Saturday, despite earlier indications that there would be no curfew on Friday night.
Earlier on Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted 11-1 against the use of tear gas and other munitions amid the protests.
In Brooklyn Center, cops have used gas and nonlethal munitions against protesters at the police station, according to FOX 9.
While the resolution passed almost unanimously, it doesn’t have any legal effect because the Minneapolis Police is controlled by Mayor Jacob Frey, not the Minneapolis Council.
Minnesota is also preparing for more protests in the coming days with Derek Chauvin’s trial in the death of George Floyd winding to an end – closing arguments are set to take place on Monday.
New York City
In New York City, some protesters held up signs saying the names of victims, such as Daunte Wright.
There was also a memorial in Washington Square Park for Wright and Dominique Lucious, a black transgender woman recently murdered in Missouri.
As the night went on in New York, there were clashes between Black Lives Matters protesters and the police in Brooklyn near the Barclays Center, where hundreds of people had gathered.
Some people were also arrested, although it’s not clear what sparked the clash.
Meanwhile, protests continued around the rest of the nation on Friday night, with major cities such Atlanta, and Washington DC seeing various protests throughout the day.
In Atlanta, Black Lives Matters protesters marched peacefully through downtown.
Some held signs, including one with the anti-police slogan ‘ACAB.’
Washington DC saw similar protests on Friday, with people holding signs and marching through the Black Lives Matter Plaza.
As the night went on, more and more people in the city joined in with the protests, which marched down busy streets.
According to the Washington Post, around 175 people rallied at the Black Lives Matter Plaza.
A crowd then walked down U Street, getting into a clash with police after trying to confront diners outside around 10pm.
Police were also forced to push protesters away from a police station, leading the protesters to shine laser pointers at the cops, as well as nearby diners.
At one point, protesters threw fireworks at police officers, with one even throwing a scooter, before the crowd dispersed around 11:20pm.