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Fatal police shooting in Minneapolis suburb was accidental, authorities say | First Thing


Good morning.

Police who shot and killed a 20-year-old black man on Sunday afternoon during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb did so accidentally, law enforcement said last night.

Authorities released graphic body-camera footage they say proves the officer attempted to use a Taser on Daunte Wright, rather than a handgun. The officer, Kim Potter, was a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center police department.

Police say officer who shot and killed unarmed Daunte Wright intended to fire Taser – video
Police say officer who shot and killed unarmed Daunte Wright intended to fire Taser – video

Protests over Wright’s death entered their second night last night, with law enforcement agencies deploying teargas, flash-bangs and other non-lethal force in the suburb of Brooklyn Center as they attempted to disperse demonstrators. The Minnesota governor, Tim Walz, issued a 7pm curfew, but many defied it.

Wright’s death came amid rising tensions in Minneapolis during the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin over the killing of George Floyd, which is in its third week. Chauvin is accused of murdering Floyd by keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes – charges Chauvin denies.

  • George Floyd’s younger brother took the stand yesterday, telling the jury that his brother was “a person that everybody loved around the community”.

  • A heart specialist said that Floyd’s death was “absolutely preventable” and that he would have lived if Chauvin had not restrained him in the street.

Chauvin’s defence begin to present their case today; Chris McGreal brings you up to speed with what they are likely to argue, and why the prosecution might already have undermined it.

Biden has made an international deal over border security

Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador wait to board the bus after crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico aboard to US, in La Joya, Texas on 8 April 2021.
Migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador wait to board the bus after crossing the Rio Grande river from Mexico to the US, in La Joya, Texas, on 8 April. Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Biden administration has struck a deal with Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras to increase border security on a temporary basis, in an attempt to prevent migrants from reaching the US border.

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said “the objective is to make it more difficult to make the journey, and make crossing the borders more difficult”.

  • A record number of unaccompanied children attempted to cross in March, and Border Patrol recorded the highest number of interactions with migrants on the southern border since 2001.

  • What will the deal do? Mexico will keep a deployment of about 10,000 troops, Guatemala has sent 1,500 police and military personnel to its southern border – and set up 12 checkpoints along a migratory route – and Honduras about 7,000. Security forces in these countries have often been accused of excessive violence against migrants.

The coronavirus pandemic is ‘a long way from over’, according to the WHO

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, seen here at a news briefing on coronavirus in July last year said “some people appear to be taking the approach that if they’re relatively young, it doesn’t matter if they get Covid-19.”
The World Health Organization director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, seen here at a news briefing on coronavirus in July last year, said ‘some people appear to be taking the approach that if they’re relatively young, it doesn’t matter if they get Covid-19.’ Photograph: Reuters

The coronavirus pandemic is still growing exponentially, the World Health Organization said yesterday. The body recorded a further 4.4 million cases in the last week; a 9% increase in infections on last week, and a 5% rise in deaths. This is the seventh consecutive week that numbers have risen.

  • Why are the cases still going up? Director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said “confusion, complacency and inconsistency in public health measures” were prolonging the international fight against the virus. He warned that the “Covid-19 pandemic is a long way from over.”

In other news …

Customers can have Domino’s delivered via R2, Nuro’s custom, autonomous vehicle, starting this week.
Customers can have Domino’s delivered via R2, Nuro’s custom, autonomous vehicle, starting this week. Photograph: Domino’s
  • Domino’s is launching a robotic pizza delivery service in Houston this week, in partnership with teh Silicon Valley start-up Nuro. Small, low-speed vehicles will carry the packages instead of humans, and if successful, the scheme will eventually expand to other locations.

  • Tennessee police have shot dead a student who allegedly opened fire on officers, authorities announced yesterday. The officers were responding to reports of a gunman on campus. No other parties were injured.

  • Facebook allowed a state-backed harassment campaign targeting independent news and political opponents in Azerbaijan back on its platform, less than six months after it was banned, a Guardian investigation reveals.

Stat of the day: 13m years of life in the US were lost to excess deaths in 2017

Far fewer Americans would die each year on average if the country had the same mortality rates as Europe, analysis suggests. Figures for 2017, the latest year analysed, showed the country saw 400,000 excess deaths, with Americans between 30 and 34 three times more likely to die than their European counterparts. Overall, the country lost 13m years of life in 2017 – a 64.9% increase since 2000.

Despite spending more on healthcare, the higher US death rate was attributed to a range of factors, from patchy healthcare to obesity and opioid overdoses. However, the US had lower death rates in people over 85.

Don’t miss this: Tinder is planning criminal record checks for its users – and it’s stirring up debate

In an attempt to address safety issues, dating app Tinder is launching a new initiative to run two- to three-minute background checks on its users. While the details on which crimes would be flagged are still being hashed out, the initiative focuses on protecting users from violent crimes, stalking and harassment. Some welcome the move, while others warn that this would lead to ‘lifelong punishment’ for former criminals.

Last Thing: The Rock 2024?

The ex-wrestler did not reveal which party he would run for, or when he might launch his bid.
The ex-wrestler did not reveal which party he would run for, or when he might launch his bid. Photograph: Frank Masi/AP

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson said he would run for president if he had enough support from Americans. The 48-year-old, who is one of the highest-paid and most popular actors in the US, said he had a “goal to unite our country” and that “if this is what the people want, then I will do that”. Sound like a wildcard? It might not be. An opinion poll last week showed 46% of Americans would consider voting for him.

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