This Minnesota Mayor Isn't Waiting for Another Police Shooting
June 24, 2021
Just two months ago, Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, was the backdrop of yet another incident of police brutality when 20-year-old Daunte Wright was fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop. The incident happened just ten miles from the courthouse where Derek Chauvin was on trial for the death of George Floyd.
Outraged community members gathered in front of the Brooklyn Center Police Department for consecutive days demanding change. And this time, their calls were answered. One month after Daunte Wright was killed, the city council passed a resolution that created an alternative to police response for both mental health calls and some traffic stops. The resolution is called The Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler Community Safety and Violence Prevention Resolution, named after the two people killed by local police in the last two years.
One of the driving forces behind the resolution was Brooklyn Center Mayor, Mike Elliott. Mayor Elliott came to the US at the age of 11, fleeing from civil war in Liberia. Before running for mayor, he had started a mentoring program, working with Brooklyn Center schools to serve low-income students.
He joins us along with Taylor Pendergrass, the Deputy Director of Campaigns for the ACLU’s Smart Justice program, to talk about what other communities can learn from the example of Brooklyn Center.