MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As protests go on for the fourth night in a row Wednesday in Brooklyn Center after the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, families who live nearby are fed up and scared.
Some families that live in the apartment building directly across the street from the police department have resorted to putting wet towels in the windows to keep tear gas out. It hasn’t worked, and the safety and mental health of the children who live there are at stake.
Johnny Tolliver has been acting as security for the building, making sure no looters or protesters pass through the front door.
“There’s nothing we can do. We are literally on ground zero at risk and we’re scared up in here. We don’t know what to do, who to call, because the police is doing all this and the rioters are doing all this. Who can we call?” Tolliver said. “These kids are going to be traumatized because of what they’ve seen and what they hear. They hear these flash bangs all night long.”
His neighbor, Jamiya Crayton, takes care of her 11-year-old sisters, and has a 3-year-old daughter of her own.
“We’re not comfortable in our own house. We are coughing all the time. No peace, loud noise, all day, every day,” Crayton said.
Who’s making the call on using tear gas? Mayor Mike Elliott says the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office was in charge of Tuesday night’s operation.
“Gassing in my opinion is not a humane way of policing,” Elliott said.
Brooklyn Center has banned the practice, but Elliott conceded Wednesday that Sheriff Dave Hutchinson had been ignoring him on the subject.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told WCCO decisions to use tear gas “are made case by case in an effort to ensure the safety of the protesters and police officers.”
Elliott said the city is working with community organizations to offer relief to the people in these apartments.