Changes to Traffic Stop, Search Policies Outlined in Brooklyn Center
Brooklyn Center City Council members got their first look at proposed changes to traffic stop and consent search policies at a council meeting on Monday night.
John Solomon, a member of the Community Safety and Violence Prevention Implementation Committee, presented the changes to the council.
“When I talk about why the policy change in Brooklyn Center is important, we want to look at how excessive stops for minor equipment issues erode community trust in law enforcement,” said Solomon. “That’s something we’ve had to work on pretty heavily here.”
Solomon said stopping vehicles for something like a broken tail light could hurt people financially and or result in an incident like the one where Daunte Wright died.
Vehicle Stop Policy Recommendations:
Vehicles would no longer be stopped solely for the following violations:
- Invalid or expired registration
- No functioning license plate light
- No operative muffler
- Exceeding vehicle noise rules of the Pollution Control Agency
- Cracked or discolored windshield or rearview mirror decorations
- Inoperative windshield wipers
- Excessive window tinting
- Improperly displayed license plate or permit sticker
- Improper operational condition
- Broken or improperly used headlights, tail lights, or turn signals
Vehicles can be stopped solely for the above listed offenses under the following conditions:
● Officers may pull someone over if the windshield is so heavily damaged that it poses a dangerous condition.
● Officers may pull someone over if the car’s equipment poses a dangerous condition.
Police consent searches would also be allowed in some instances.
According to the recommendation, no operator or owner-passenger of a motor vehicle shall be requested to consent to a search by a law enforcement officer of his or her motor vehicle, unless there exists probable cause of criminal activity.
Council members voted to accept the recommendations after a brief public comment period.
“We’re talking about some of these reforms at the local level, but some of the things at the state level shows there has been a need for police reform, not just in Brooklyn Center, not just in Minnesota, but in the United States,” said council member April Graves.
Council member Dan Ryan pointed out that traffic stops are indeed, necessary, and the information and data presented is worth further study.
“If we take a good look at what can enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of department’s activities and ensure that they have the best policies to both prove that effectiveness and prevent bad outcomes,” said Ryan.
Also approved on the consent agenda, Julia Gibson was confirmed and appointed as a member of the Implementation Committee and will serve as the co-chair of the Implementation Committee with Mayor Mike Elliott.