For the fifth straight night, people protested the death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center. Protesters remained in the streets after the curfew went into effect Thursday night, but no dispersal order was given by police. Reports say most protesters went home about an hour-and-a-half after the curfew started.
The Minnesota Department of Health says almost one-thousand residents died from excessive alcohol use in 2020. Those numbers came from preliminary data on preventable deaths from alcohol use, which they released yesterday. Health officials say 171 more Minnesotans died from this cause than those who died in 2019. They believe the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected what they call an already "decades-long trend" of increasing alcohol-attributed deaths. MDH notes a task force has recommended several precautions, such as increasing alcohol prices and regulating of alcohol vendors, in order to prevent these tragedies.
More coronavirus cases and related deaths have been reported in Minnesota. Yesterday, health officials listed two-thousand-736 new cases and 11 additional deaths. With those numbers introduced, the state's totals show over 549-thousand infections and about 69-hundred-89 deaths overall. About two-million-162-thousand-665 people have received their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine so far.
Speaking to press Thursday, Daunte Wright's family says they were heartened by charges against former police officer Kim Potter as it's a sign of progress. She faces a count of manslaughter, which could result in up to 10 years in prison. During her first hearing yesterday, Potter was ordered to be back in court on May 17th. Alongside the Wright family, Attorney Ben Crump said Minneapolis is "ground zero" for change as protests continue for Wright and George Floyd.
Both sides have rested their cases in the Derek Chauvin trial. Chauvin invoked his Fifth Amendment rights Thursday morning before his defense team rested. Closing arguments are set to begin next Monday.
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year, most hospitalizations in Minnesota are of people younger than 65. Officials with the CentraCare health care system in central Minnesota say 70 percent of their hospitalizations are younger than 65. Doctors say they think the UK variant of the virus may be part of the reason. They say the increase underscores the need for people to continue following COVID-19 protocols, including wearing masks.
In a week of turmoil, Minnesotans may be asking how they can shine some positivity into their own community. Dan Furry with the Salvation Army says one great outlet can be getting in contact with a local non-profit to ask what their needs are. "It's about what people can do to improve the lives of people who are struggling. Everybody can do something." Furry says many organizations, including the Salvation Army, simply need people willing to volunteer their time.
Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter is now charged with second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. The Washington County Attorney's Office brought the charges Wednesday morning, and Potter was later arrested at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in Saint Paul. Potter was released from custody after posting a 100-thousand dollars bond. She'll appear in court today.
(Brooklyn Center, MN) -- Hundreds of people take to the streets of Brooklyn Center for the fourth-straight night to protest the death of Daunte Wright. A curfew went into effect at ten o'clock Wednesday night, and police started making arrests less than an hour later. Reports say there was a larger law enforcement presence Wednesday than previous nights.
(Hennepin Co., MN) -- A forensic pathologist called by Derek Chauvin's defense team says there wasn't one sole cause of George Floyd's death. On Wednesday, Doctor David Fowler testified he thinks there were several factors contributing to Floyd's death. One factor he suggested was carbon monoxide poisoning because of how close Floyd was to the squad car's exhaust when he was being restrained by Chauvin. The prosecution could bring a rebuttal witness today. The defense is also expected to rest its case today.