Once again the death of a black man in Minnesota is leading to protests against police brutality all over the country, including here in Albany.

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Last year the country was riddled with sometimes violent protests against police brutality, following the death of George Floyd. Ironically, Derek Chauvin is standing trial for Mr. Floyd’s death at the same time that a young black man was shot and killed in a small town in Minnesota.

On Sunday, in the small town of Brooklyn Center Minnesota, 20-year old Duane Wright was shot and killed by a Brooklyn Center police officer. Former Police Officer
Kim Potter claimed that she intended to hit Mr. Wright with a taser gun, but instead, she fatally shot him.

The former officer was a 26-year veteran with the police force. Today she was officially arrested and charged with second-degree Manslaughter.

According to News 13, On Wednesday afternoon members of the Albany community gathered to peacefully protesting police brutality at Townsend Park in response to the police shooting of Mr. Wright.

Officers with the Albany Police Department escorted approximately 50 to 60 protesters as they marched through the city. Most of the protesters remained peaceful, but there were a few individuals who threw water bottles at officers. During the event, a window was broken out of the Albany Police station.

In response to the broken window in the police station, officers discharged pepper spray at the crowd. Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins encouraged the protesters to remain peaceful. He said, “It is unacceptable for individuals to damage property, it is unacceptable for individuals to hurt people.” Thankfully, no one was injured during the protests.

As the trial of Derek Chauvin moves forward, and the saga surrounding Mr. Wright’s death continues, I’m sure that police officers are on high alert. Protesting police brutality is always encouraged, but we must remain peaceful to avoid anyone else from becoming a victim.

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