The Dallas Morning News
Officials criticize police tactics
Leaders pass resolution to ban tear gas, more
BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. — Elected leaders in the Minneapolis suburb where a police officer fatally shot Daunte Wright want officers to scale back their tactics amid nightly protests, leaving some law enforcement called in to assist asking whether the city still wants their help.
Hundreds of demonstrators have gathered outside the heavily guarded Brooklyn Center
police station every night since former Officer Kim Potter, who is white, shot the 20year-old Black motorist during a traffic stop Sunday. Protesters have shouted profanities, launched fireworks, shaken a security fence surrounding the building and lobbed water bottles at officers. Officers have driven away protesters with tear gas grenades, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and long lines of riot police.
People who live in the area say many of their neighbors are staying in hotels or with relatives to avoid the noise as well as the tear gas that seeps into their homes.
“We can’t just have our window open anymore without thinking about if there’s going to be some gas coming in,” said 16-year-old Xzavion Martin, adding that rubber bullets and other projectiles have landed on his apartment’s second-story balcony. “There’s kids in this building that are really scared to come back.”
The tactics have not sat well with Brooklyn Center city officials, who passed a resolution Monday banning the city’s officers from using tear gas and other chemicals, chokeholds and police lines to arrest demonstrators.
Mayor Mike Elliott, who is Black, said at a news conference Wednesday that “gassing is not a human way of policing” and he didn’t agree with police using pepper spray, tear gas and paintballs against demonstrators. Elliott didn’t respond to multiple messages Friday.
But Brooklyn Center police aren’t dealing with protesters on their own. Other agencies, including the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department and the Minnesota National
Guard, have provided support at the city’s request in a joint effort dubbed Operation Safety Net. The city’s resolution isn’t binding on those agencies.
Protests have continued since Potter was charged
Wednesday with second-degree manslaughter. The former police chief in the majority nonwhite suburb said Potter fired her pistol when she meant to use her Taser. Both Potter and the chief resigned Tuesday.