Hundreds arrested across the country at protests over police shootings

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Protests against police shootings turn violent across nation

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Hundreds across the country were arrested as protests over police shootings in Minnesota, Chicago and Portland, Oregon, dissolved into chaos overnight.

Police hauled in nearly 100 people who were demonstrating in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright by former officer Kim Potter.

The crowd of about 1,000 people initially “had the air of a block party,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. But around 9 p.m., arguments about the tone of the protest erupted in the crowd after a speaker called for the fences erected outside police headquarters to be torn down. “The fence represents tyranny. The fence is a smack in the face. The fence is spitting on Daunte Wright’s face,” said Royce White, a former professional basketball player and co-founder of a group called 10K, who called on the Black men in the crowd to storm the fence. “We have the numbers. We should continue to push.”

Some protesters heeded the call, and National Guard troops and police officers rushed in, firing flash-bang grenades and starting arrests.

Police at an early Saturday press conference said protesters had also started throwing bottles, rocks and other objects, and saw protesters wearing helmets, gas masks and tactical gear moving to the front of the crowd. Some picked up baseball bats, shields, bleach and other items they had hidden as the gathering turned violent, said John Harrington, commissioner of the state Department of Public Safety.

A curfew was quickly put in place for 11 p.m.

In Chicago, a protest over the police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo was largely peaceful for most of the evening, but as the march came to an end, a small group scuffled with police, ABC-7 Chicago reported. A least one person was arrested.

And in Portland, another riot was declared after protesters marching over the Toledo and Wright shootings, along with the police shooting of a white man in his 30s on Friday, smashed windows and ransacked businesses.

Violence broke out in two of the three protests that marched in the city Friday night. At one point, gunshots were fired from a car, but no one was injured, the Oregonian reported. Demonstrators overturned plastic barriers filled with water, lit a dumpster on fire and set some portable toilets ablaze. Flames from the toilets traveled to a nearby building, which saw significant damage from the resulting fire.

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