Following the police-involved fatal shooting of a black motorist in Brooklyn Corner, Minnesota on Sunday afternoon, an anti-cop protester used a megaphone to urge members of a growing crowd to dox officers, identify and post photos of their family members, and "start doin' pull ups to their house."
Cellphone video showing a line of police officers blocking off a street following the shooting caught audio of the man on the megaphone: "I need everybody to go to Brooklyn Center police ... website, you go through the officers that are on duty ... and then you find their names, then you put it into Facebook, and you put it into Instagram. Then you start taking screenshots of their family and who they are, and then what happens is, 'Hey bro, your dad just killed my son.' That's a reality. We're gonna start gettin' their badges, you start doin' pull ups to their house. You let 'em know ..."
Here's the clip. (Content warning: Profanity):
Video/audio of person threatening to hunt down police and their families. https://t.co/OcFkPXArz5— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) 1618183727.0
What do we know so far about the shooting?
Brooklyn Center Police said in a statement that an officer pulled over a man for a traffic violation and discovered he had an outstanding warrant. As police attempted to take the motorist into custody, he reportedly tried to get back into the vehicle and drive away, and an officer shot the motorist, who drove several blocks before he hit another vehicle and died.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) identified the fatally shot motorist as 20-year-old Daunte Wright.
His mother, Katie Wright, told reporters she received a phone call from her son telling her police pulled him over reportedly for having air fresheners dangling from the vehicle's rearview mirror. It's illegal to hang anything from rearview mirrors in Minnesota.
Wright said she told her son to put the officer on the phone so she could provide insurance information, and the last thing she heard was police telling her son to get out of the vehicle and demanding he refrain from running.
"I heard police officers say, 'Daunte, don't run,'" she recalled. The call ended, she said, and Wright immediately phoned back and reached her son's girlfriend, who was with him in the vehicle, and she told Wright that her son had been shot.
How did folks react to the doxxing threat against police and their families?
While some commenters on Twitter suggested that police have it coming, others disagreed with the doxxing idea:
- "Isn't setting up police and their [families] to be attacked a hate crime?" one commenter asked. "Why did they not arrest every one of them there?"
- "I'm just a *bit* concerned that vigilante justice, personal vendettas & mob violence may just cause more harm than good.... just my opinion," another user said.
- "Where's the FBI here[?]" another commenter asked. "This is direct threats to law enforcement and civilians. Seriously I know people in Brooklyn Center that are freaking out because of this."
- "Really? And this isn't a crime?" another user wondered. "No sympathy for any of them when they get what they deserve."
- "Uttering threats. Book him boys," another commenter wrote. "Only s**tty human beings want to go after people's families. They're psychopaths."
NBC News reported that a crowd of up to 200 people threw rocks and other objects at the Brooklyn Center police department building, which prompted the state to mobilize its National Guard.
The unrest is compounded by the ongoing trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who stands accused of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter in connection to George Floyd's May 2020 death — which sparked nationwide rioting that lasted all summer.
This story has been updated to reflect that police in Brooklyn Corner, Minnesota — not Minneapolis — were the targets of Sunday's protest.