UPDATED 7:10 AM PT – Sunday, April 18, 2021
Police declared an unlawful assembly during the sixth night of protests outside the Brooklyn Center police headquarters in Minnesota. On Saturday, authorities said 136 people were arrested Friday night in connection with the demonstration.
“Their actions dictate our response, and our response is to keep this city safe and the police department safe,” Sheriff David Hutchinson of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office stated.
In a joint press conference, Operation Safety Net said approximately 500 people gathered around the center. Officials explained the situation became disorderly as protesters began to shake the barricade and throw objects at officers, including rocks and soup cans.
Following several orders from law enforcement and National Guard members to disperse, officers were forced to use crowd control measures including tear gas and flash-bangs.
“If we want change in policing, we want reform in policing, let’s do that, let’s get together and start reform,” Hutchinson said. “The profession, this profession needs help. We can admit that, we’re not perfect, we can be better. But these people are not people that you should be supporting.”
Friday night marked the sixth consecutive night of demonstrations at the police headquarters following the death of 20-year-old Duante Wright, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.
Authorities emphasized they did not want to use any force, as several city officials and community organizers continue to call for peace.
“So I’m here to say please stay peaceful, and the people who are intent on causing harm, you’re going to find yourself where you are tonight, in the Hennepin County Jail,” Hutchinson stated.