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Riots Erupt in Minneapolis after Police Shoot and Kill 20-Year-Old Daunte Wright

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Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon depicted the death as “an accidental discharge.”

What We Know:

  • 20-year-old Daunte Wright had been pulled over after police saw air fresheners dangling from his rearview mirror, which is illegal in Minnesota. They then discovered Wright had an outstanding arrest warrant and tried to arrest him.
  • However, Wright quickly got out of the handcuffs and ran into his car. A few of the policemen struggled to get Wright out of the car when Kim Potter, the officer who shot Wright, screamed, “I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” She then fired at him. The car sped off, only to crash into another vehicle several blocks away. CBS News says Wright was pronounced dead at the scene. Wright’s girlfriend was in the car with him but sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The people in the other car were not hurt.

 “Holy (expletive)! I shot him,” said Potter as Wright’s car drove away.

  • Potter claims she intended to grab her taser. Instead, she grabbed her gun and fired at Wright. Gannon says after reviewing the footage, he believes Wright’s shooting was accidental. He also announced Potter’s actions before shooting were consistent with the department’s Taser training.

“This appears to me, from what I’ve viewed and the officer’s reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. Wright,” Gannon stated.

  • Brooklyn Center Police Department released a bodycam video of the situation at a news conference. Gannon said he wanted to release the video for the sake of transparency. Additionally, he adds that the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), who identified Potter as the suspect, does not condone the releasing of videos in ongoing investigations.
  • Crowds began to gather around the crash site during the afternoon. After 6 p.m., protestors took down the crime scene tape. Alongside the victim’s family, the public began demanding answers from law enforcement. KARE 11 recorded aerial footage of the location that showed several police cars surrounded by angry civilians. Many also tried to damage the vehicles.
  • Later that night, a group of 100 to 200 citizens marched to the Brooklyn Center Police Department. CNN disclosed that officers held a line outside of the building. Also, some officers were positioned at the top. Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Commissioner John Harrington said people were throwing rocks and other things at the establishment. Reports of shots being fired were also released. The majority of protestors were later on dispersed, according to Harrington. Furthermore, another group went to Shingle Creek Mall and broke into around 20 businesses. Law enforcement arrested two people, according to Gannon.
  • Brooklyn Center is less than 10 miles away from Minneapolis, where just last summer, Officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd. The shooting, which occurred during the period of Chauvin’s trial, sparked outrage in the neighboring town. More than a half-dozen businesses in Minneapolis’ Lake Street, the place with some of the most intense violence last summer, boarded up their windows. Officials announced a curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the town. Schools chose to suspend in-person classes for the time being. Sports teams canceled their games for safety concerns. Furthermore, National Guard vehicles went to some major intersections. Although Minneapolis was met on Saturday with peaceful protests, the Washington Post also says some police-civilian clashes and some looting.
  • Minneapolis officials additionally fear the outcome if Chauvin is acquitted or sentenced with lesser charges. Local leaders are currently spending $1 million on security, bringing in many law enforcement, and erecting fences topped with barbed wire. The case’s verdict may come in this month. However, many community administrators worry security might be insufficient. If the result is not guilty or Chauvin is sentenced lowly, this may happen.

Ben Crump, the Wright family’s attorney, maintains the shooting was “completely avoidable” and “inhumane.” As a result of Sunday, Potter has been placed on administrative leave. However, residents and activists are calling for her removal. In addition, protestors would like Gannon to resign after the described “heavy-handed response to demonstrations Sunday night.”

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Senate Announces Bipartisan $1 Trillion Infrastructure Deal

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(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A bipartisan group of 10 Senators have been engaged in negotiations with President Biden to create an infrastructure bill. After negotiations ceased this Tuesday, the group announced they have a tentative plan to propose in the coming weeks.

What We Know:

  • The plan includes $579 billion in new spending, which would add up to $1.2 trillion over eight years. Senators said in a statement that the proposal would be paid for and would not include tax increases. There have been talks amongst the group of indexing the gas tax to inflation to cover the cost, but Biden’s unwillingness to raise taxes for those who make less than $400,000 a year would prove difficult.
  • Republicans are skeptical of this deal and Democrats are impatient. Many are hopeful that a bipartisan agreement will pass. In a joint statement, the group said, “We are discussing our approach with our respective colleagues, and the White House, and remain optimistic that this can lay the groundwork to garner broad support both parties and meet America’s infrastructure needs.”
  • Some Democrats are vehemently opposed to the deal as it makes no mention of clean energy or climate change. They are encouraging leadership to push through a partisan bill, which still would require ten votes on the Republican side to pass.
  • Regardless of opinion, many agree that a bill needs to pass swiftly. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is among these representatives, “I worry about time being wasted. Even if our Republican colleagues [work in] good faith, we simply do not have the time to delay.”

The uncertainty in this decision follows a few weeks of tumult in the Senate between Democrats and Republicans. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement, “Senior White House staff and the Jobs Cabinet will work with the Senate group in the days ahead to get answers to those questions, as we also consult with other members in both the House and the Senate on the path forward.”

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Crime

Man Arrested After Shooting At Gilroy Cops During Pursuit

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A 36-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night after he led Gilroy police officers on a high-speed pursuit.

What We Know:

  • The chase occurred around 9 p.m after police attempted to stop a man named Joshua Munoz. According to authorities, Munoz had warrants out for his arrest and was wanted for outstanding felony and misdemeanor charges.
  • Munoz was charged with possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, child endangerment, brandishing a weapon, burglary, and violating probation. Munoz was pursued by officers onto Highway 101 where he allegedly opened fire. Reportedly, he held a pistol out of the driver’s side window and fired a round at officers. Nobody was injured during the incident.
  • The pursuit reached Monterey County and then the California Highway Patrol took over the chase. Munoz eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed. Afterward, Munoz attempted to flee, but officers managed to capture him.
  • Police recovered a handgun and rifle on the scene. Munoz was later booked into Santa Clara County jail. In addition to previous warrants, Munoz has also been charged with attempted murder of a police officer, felony evasion, felon in possession of a firearm, and resisting arrest.

Police are still investigating and are asking anyone with additional information to contact detectives at 408-046-0335 or the anonymous tip line at 408-846-0330.

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Senate Confirms Zahid Quraishi as First Muslim Federal Judge in the U.S.

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On Thursday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Zahid Quraishi as a U.S. District Judge of New Jersey, making him the first Muslim American to hold the position in U.S. history.

What We Know:

  • Quraishi, the son of Pakistani immigrants, was approved by the Senate with an 81-16 vote, receiving all present Democratic votes and 34 Republican ones. He is currently a U.S. magistrate judge for the District of New Jersey, has worked as a federal prosecutor, and served two tours in Iraq.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), stated, “[Quraishi] is a man of integrity, a consummate public servant, and a trailblazer for Asian Americans and Muslim Americans across this country who dream of one day presiding over a court of their own.”

  • President Joe Biden nominated Quraishi in his first group of judicial nominations back in March. Biden focused on diversity with his group of nominees, including three African American women for the openings in the Circuit Court and the first women of color to serve as a federal judge in the District of Maryland.
  • Democrats and progressives expressed their excitement and gave their congratulations to Quraishi via social media. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) stated that Quraishi was an “excellent addition to the court,” and his confirmation is a “reflection of America’s ideal of religious freedom.” Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stated that they need to expand on demographic and professional diversity, and confirming Quraishi was an example of that.

  • According to The New York Times, The Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized Quraishi’s time while in Iraq and his involvement with former President George W. Bush’s second term. They called Quraishi a “detention legal adviser” during a time when prisoner abuse in Iraq was out of hand.
  • The civil rights group also called out the judge’s involvement with ICE throughout Bush’s last two years of office. They wrote the Senate a letter begging them to take a look into Quraishi’s actions during this time and consider them before they voted. Quraishi received the Bronze Star for his time in service.

Along with confirming Quraishi, the Senate also advanced the nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Jackson is at the top of the list for the Supreme Court if a vacancy appears.

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