Minnesota sports teams call off games in wake of Duante Wright's death in police shooting

By Sports Desk April 12, 2021

Monday’s Minnesota Twins’, Minnesota Timberwolves’ and Minnesota Wild’s games are not being played a day after Duante Wright was killed by police in a Minneapolis suburb. 

The Twins were set to open a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox at Target Field, the Timberwolves were scheduled to face the Brooklyn Nets at the Target Center and the Wild were slated to host the St. Louis Blues at Xcel Energy Center. 

The decisions were made after Mr Wright, a 20-year-old black man, was fatally shot on Sunday following a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. 

Shortly after the shooting, protesters descended on the Brooklyn Center Police Department and were met by a police contingent in riot gear amid scenes of unrest.

''Out of respect for the tragic events that occurred yesterday in Brooklyn Center, and following the additional details in this evolving situation, the Minnesota Twins have decided it is in the best interests of our fans, staff, players and community to not play today's game,'' the Twins said in a statement on Twitter.  

In their own statement, the NHL team said: "The Minnesota Wild organization extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Daunte Wright."

A body camera video released on Monday by the Brooklyn Center Police Department showed Wright got out of his car during the traffic stop, but appeared to try to escape from the police officer’s attempts to handcuff him before getting back into the driver’s seat.

A police officer then shouted "Taser!" several times but fired a gun at Wright. 

"It is my belief that the officer had the intention to deploy their Taser, but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet," Brooklyn Center Police chief Tim Gannon said, as per the New York Times.

"It appears to me, from what I viewed, and the officer's reaction and distress immediately after, that this was an accidental discharge that resulted in a tragic death of Mr Wright."

The Twin Cities region was the epicentre of the Black Lives Matter movement last year when George Floyd was killed in police custody.

The trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering Mr Floyd, is taking place in a courtroom less than 10 miles from where Mr Wright was shot.

"Yesterday's tragic event, involving the life of Daunte Wright, once again leaves our community mourning,” the Timberwolves said in a statement on Twitter. 

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