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Brooklyn Center Mayor Says He Doesn’t Think Cops Need To Have Weapons When Making Traffic Stops

Brooklyn Center, MN – Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott told reporters on Tuesday that there is no need for law enforcement officers to carry duty firearms at all times.

“I don’t believe that officers need to necessarily have weapons, you know, every time they’re making a traffic stop,” Elliott declared during a press conference on April 13.

The mayor’s assertion comes on the heels of the fatal officer-involved shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, who was killed after an officer mistakenly shot him as he was resisting arrest during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center on April 11.

Brooklyn Center Police Department (BCPD) Chief Tim Gannon told reporters during a press conference on Monday that BCPD Officer Kim Potter, 48, mistook her duty pistol for her Taser during the encounter with Wright, USA Today reported.

The department released bodycam footage from the traffic stop showing Officer Potter yelling, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” prior to firing her firearm.

The bullet hit Wright, who died from his bullet wounds after driving off and crashing his car.

Officer Potter and Chief Gannon both resigned on Tuesday.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said he is hoping to have criminal charges drafted in the case by Wednesday, according to the Star Tribune.

Elliott said during the press conference that there are many police “situations that don’t necessarily call for weapons,” and that some jurisdictions throughout the world don’t have armed law enforcement officers because “it’s not needed.”

He said he is “predisposed to doing everything we can to reduce the opportunity for officers to use deadly force in situations where they’re not necessary,” and confirmed he is “interested” in learning about additional police reform policies to “see how we can implement” them.

“Whatever we can do to make sure that our communities are kept safe, we wanna do that,” the mayor indiscriminately added.

Elliott’s comments came less than 24 hours before a police officer in Burleson, Texas was shot multiple times during a traffic stop, KRLD reported.

There is no word on the officer’s condition yet.

Police in New Mexico recently released chilling dashcam footage that captured the moment when New Mexico State Police (NMSP) Officer Darian Jarrott, 28, was fatally shot in the head during a traffic stop in February.

Elliott immediately called for Officer Potter to be fired in the wake of the officer-involved shooting of Wright, Bring Me The News reported.

The city’s manager, Curt Boganey, pointed out that Officer Potter has rights and said the city couldn’t just terminate her employment.

“Employees are entitled to due process,” Boganey said.

Elliott responded by firing him.

“Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties, and the deputy city manager will be assuming his duties moving forward,” Elliott tweeted late Monday afternoon. “I will continue to work my hardest to ensure good leadership at all levels of our city government.”

Boganey had served as city manager for Brooklyn Center since 2005, the Star Tribune reported.

His firing came shortly after the Brooklyn Center City Council voted 3-2 to pull “command authority” of the BCPD from the city manager and to place it under the control of Elliott, according to Bring Me The News.

Brooklyn Center City Council Member Kris Lawrence-Anderson said during a virtual workshop after the vote that she agreed with the motion to remove Boganey from his post because she was worried about what rioters would do to her or her property if she didn’t go along with it, the Star Tribune reported.

“He was doing a great job. I respect him dearly,” Lawrence-Anderson said of Boganey, adding that she just “didn’t want repercussions at a personal level.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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