Protestors put their fists in the air in solidarity with the family of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center. Photo courtesy of Evan Frost, MPR News.

Brooklyn Center police fatally shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright on April 11 after a traffic stop. Now, this Twin Cities suburb is becoming the center of anger, grief, and protests–and a center of national attention.

Brooklyn Center is Minnesota’s most diverse community per capita; over half its residents are people of color. Here are five facts about the suburb that may help put the shooting into context. 

  1. Brooklyn Center is an inner-ring suburb on the northwest border of Minneapolis in Hennepin County. It sits on the west bank of the Mississippi River. 
  2. The city is very diverse. There are 30,849 residents, according to the nonprofit data site Minnesota Compass. People of color account for 55 percent of the population, the largest share in a state where people of color make up 21 percent of residents. About 29 percent of Brooklyn Center residents are Black, 16 percent are Asian, and 13.5 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino. 
  3. Many immigrants live in Brooklyn Center. About 24 percent of residents are foreign-born, according to Minnesota Compass. A third of residents speak a language other than English. It is known as a hub for Minnesota’s Liberian community. The city’s mayor, Mike Elliott, is a Liberian immigrant. 
  4. Brooklyn Center is a working class community. It has a median household income of $59,550, below the state median of $74,600. About 15 percent of Brooklyn Center residents live below the poverty line, compared to 9 percent of Minnesotans. 
  5. Brooklyn Center residents are more likely to be cost-burdened (pay more than 30 percent of income on housing) that most Minnesotans. About 33 percent of city residents are cost burdened, compared to 25 percent statewide. Minnesota has a large homeownership gap between white households and residents of color, with 77 percent of white residents owning their home compared to just 44 percent for people of color. In Brooklyn Center, 38 percent of the population lives in rental housing and 61 percent of renters are cost burdened.
Brooklyn Center, where Daunte Wright was killed by police, has a median household income of $59,550, below the statewide median of $74,600. Image courtesy of Minnesota Compass.

Andrew Hazzard covers climate issues for Sahan Journal. He has worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Mississippi and Minnesota. He is member of Society of Environmental Journalists. His work at Sahan...