Police Union Pens ‘Open Letter to Brooklyn Center’
The police union that represents officers in Brooklyn Center has penned an “open letter to the community.”
Chuck Valleau, acting president of Local #82, which represents rank and file officers of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, expressed condolences for the Daunte Wright family as well as a sense of grief over former officer Kim Potter, who served the community for 25 years.
Valleau also asked for support for the Brooklyn Center Police Department and asked for protesters to stop using slurs against Black and brown officers.
The shooting death of Daunte Wright has been devastating for the members of the community and the police department. Our officers come to work to help people and make their lives better. Our entire profession is founded upon our willingness to sacrifice our lives for others and to protect those who can’t protect themselves. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Daunte Wright’s family and friends.
Our police department family is also grieving for Kim Potter. She served the community for 25 years and we love her as a sister. It is impossible for me to grasp the overwhelming emotional burden of taking a life after dedicating your career to protecting life.
I want to thank the many community members who have sent cards, donations, and food to our department. We have received more than we can use and have funneled many donations directly back into the community. The overwhelming support has helped remind us who we serve and the reason we continue to come to work.
We are blessed to live in a country where people can openly protest against the government, and that same government will make every effort to protect the people while they protest. Many of the protesters we come into contact with are mindful people with gracious hearts. I am encouraged that it has been many nights since officers have had any physical contact with protesters and I hope this continues as we all try to heal.
I do ask that protesters stop using racial slurs against our black and brown officers. When these officers put on their uniform they already carry with them an extra sense of responsibility and they do not deserve to be demonized for the color of their skin.
Our union members are willing to participate in any forum, meeting, or discussion with our community that is permitted by our city administration to help improve our relationships with Brooklyn Center residents. For five months starting last fall I was allowed to participate in a class with the leadership of the city while we read and discussed the book “How to be an Antiracist” written by Dr. Ibram Kendi. This class was put on by a Diversity and Equity Success Specialist and every department head and city manager completed the class. In addition, Councilmember Marquita Butler, Councilmember Dan Ryan, Councilmember April Graves, and Councilmember Kris Lawrence-Anderson also attended the training. Our union members remain committed to community outreach and strengthening our relationships with our residents. We stand willing to identify and address any racial inequity in our city.
During the last three weeks our community has openly mourned the loss of Daunte Wright and has suffered through the resulting civil unrest.
Your Brooklyn Center Police Officers will continue to come to work for as many hours as it takes to make this city feel secure. Thank you for your ongoing support and please pray that we may receive the wisdom and guidance needed to do our jobs to the best of our ability.”
Chuck Valleau, acting president of Local #82, representing rank and file officers of the Brooklyn Center Police Department