Brooklyn Center Residents: ‘We’re Going to Set the Example’
John Solomon wants to prove doubters wrong. Following looting and civil unrest in his community, the 26-year Brooklyn Center resident wants his community to shine above the rest.
“We’re going to show you all that as a small community, we’re going to set the example for this country here,” said Solomon.
On Tuesday, there was a call for action by some Brooklyn Center residents at the memorial site where Daunte Wright was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter. Brooklyn Center resident Matt Branch says he was stopped on three separate occasions by Potter.
“This officer pulled me over on three separate occasions, never once did I receive a ticket or any type of citation,” said Branch. “I received nothing more than hostile engagement and interaction.”
Branch and others are calling for a civilian oversight committee for police. There’s also a call to eliminate police stops for petty violations.
Residents like Solomon pushed for a racial profiling bill back in 2000, but without success.
“Now, after that, I live every day with the simple fact that because we couldn’t get across to these people, we lose people like Philando Castile. We lose people like Daunte Wright,” Solomon said.
Solomon, a former Washington, D.C., police officer and current school board member, says he has been pulled over 18 times in Minnesota.
“Police violence. I have a real problem with that and I have for a long time because No. 1, as a Black man, it’s automatically assumed that we don’t like the police here. And that’s a total myth,” said Solomon. “We, like, everyone else in this country, want to have safe communities, we don’t want crime around here, but we want to be treated fair and just.”
Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose district includes Brooklyn Center, also attended the rally.
“Brooklyn Center really has been for all of us an example of how diversity thrives,” said Omar. “This is a city where a beautiful fabric, mosaic of beautiful people from all over the world have gathered and created a community where they all can rely on one another and live peacefully together.”