Minneapolis Approves New Policing Changes

by Jan Frazier

Minneapolis, Minnesota (Washington Insider Magazine) Major changes to its policing practices have occurred in Brooklyn Center – a suburb of Minneapolis – where a police officer “fatally shot Daunte Wright during a traffic stop in April.”

The City Council of Brooklyn Center voted 4-1 on Saturday “in favor of a resolution that would create new divisions of unarmed civilian employees to handle non-moving traffic violations and respond to mental health crises.” This change in policing will also limit times when officers can make arrests. Also, the change will require “more de-escalation efforts by police before using deadly force.”

In addition to all of these changes, a new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention will be made. It will “oversee efforts on community health and public safety.”  This will be led by a director with public health knowledge.

Even though these changes are not the final action to be taken by Brooklyn Center, it will be a commitment of resolution to change. Brooklyn Center’s Major, Mike Elliott, said that “your elected leaders are committing ourselves. And that you can hold us accountable for achieving those goals.”

Elliott just introduced these changes last week, which was less than a month after Brooklyn Center Officer, Kim Potter, shot and killed Daunte Wright. Potter was white, and Wright was Black. The city’s police chief stepped down from his duty, but he claimed that he thought Potter actually did mean to use her Taser during the April 11 shooting. Potter shouted “Taser” multiple times as shown on the body camera video. 

Council Members, Marquita Butler, April Graves, and Dan Ryan “joined Elliott in voting for the resolution.” However, Council Member, Kris Lawrence-Anderson was against the resolution. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Lawrence-Anderson believed that the council had not “taken enough time to weigh the proposal.”

Kate Wright, the mother of Daunte, said that she truly believed that if these changes had been implemented before April 11, her son would still be alive.

Potter, who resigned soon after the incident, was charged with second-degree manslaughter in Wright’s death. It is noted that Wright was “pulled over for expired tags, but they sought to arrest him after discovering an outstanding warrant.”

SOURCE

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