Brooklyn Center Council Tables Vote on Proposed Policing Changes
A vote to enact policing changes in Brooklyn Center following the April 11, 2021 death of Daunte Wright will have to wait a little longer.
The decision to delay comes after the police chief said he did not feel comfortable implementing some of the proposals.
“I will honestly feel that I do not feel comfortable implementing or saying these to my officers,” said Brooklyn Center Police Chief Kellace McDaniel, who is retiring at the end of January.
The Community Safety and Violence Prevention Implementation Committee was formed in the wake of Wright’s death. The committee, which includes Katie Wright, Daunte Wright’s mother, has worked on police reform since its creation in February 2022.
Proposed changes include recommending police to avoid pulling drivers over for things like broken taillights, expired license tabs, or objects hanging from a rearview mirror. It also recommends that police avoid consent searches, unless there’s probable cause of criminal activity.
The decision to table followed a lengthy discussion.
“We need to sit down with police leadership because I think there isn’t a misunderstanding about what the community is recommending,” said Brooklyn Center Mayor April Graves. “I think there’s a misunderstanding about whether the police department supports it. And that’s what’s bringing us to the point right here about why we can’t get the council to vote.”
Council members Kris Lawrence-Anderson and Dan Jerzak indicated they wanted to meet with police to better understand their apprehension about some of the changes, some which may run in conflict with state statute.
“I would much prefer this is a state law and it’s enacted across the state to everybody so that everybody is playing according to the same rules,” said Jerzak. “Because of the issue if Highway Patrol comes through here or Sheriff or whoever else and it adds to confusion. And whenever you have confusion, you have the potential of something happening.”
A list of the proposed changes can be found in the Oct. 23 council meeting documents starting at page 200.
‘Salt in An Already Open Wound’
Members of the community spoke to the city council urging members to vote, not delay.
Katie Wright spoke how she was “super optimistic” of a vote coming.
“I thought you ‘you know what, finally,'” said Wright.
Amity Dimock, whose son, Kobe Dimock-Heisler, was killed in August 2019 by police following a mental distress call, called a vote delay adding “salt in an already open wound.”
Council member Marquita Butler also expressed disappointment policy changes have taken so long to enact.
“There’s going to be growing pains,” said Butler. “The officers may all not agree, but that’s what happens when there’s change. They’ve been trained a very certain way for many years. And I respect that. But we’re trying to do something different.”
The city council ended up voting 5-0 to delay a vote on the policy changes. According to Brooklyn Center City Manager Reggie Edwards, a final vote isn’t expected until mid-December.