BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (WCCO) — In the aftermath of the police shooting death of Daunte Wright last month, the small city of Brooklyn Center finds itself in the middle of a national debate on police reform and accountability.
And while police reform bills are being considered at both the state and federal level, Brooklyn Center, a city of 30,000 people, has decided to take up the issue on its own.READ MORE: Brooklyn Park Business Owner Reeling After Arsonists Target Store ‘For No Reason At All’
For those who stop by the ever growing memorial to Wright changes to policing are welcome.
“A lot of things just need to change, the change needs to happen,” Bernard Wells said.
Brooklyn Center is considering changing its laws and having unarmed traffic officers handle minor traffic offenses, including having expired tabs.
That was the offense Wright was pulled over for.
“My daughters knew Daunte,” Janet Well said.
She says she likes the concept of unarmed traffic enforcement.
“I think that’s a great idea it would leave a lot of stress off of people,” she said. “A lot of people won’t be as nervous and afraid and scared.”READ MORE: Lawsuit Alleges Daunte Wright Carjacked, Assaulted Man 3 Weeks Before His Death
Of course any reforms the Brooklyn Center City Council enacts will only apply to Brooklyn Center police. Similar proposals are being debated and are up for potential votes in the state legislature. Those would apply to law enforcement statewide.
In Brooklyn Center, changes are being championed by Mayor Mike Elliott.
“This is better for our community, our safety and for prioritizing the time of our police officers,” he said at a meeting on Saturday.
Not everyone agrees with him.
“Is the fellow in the car going to have a gun? I just think they have to be protected also,” Shirley Peterson said.
This woman did tell us she likes another of the mayor’s proposals, one that would send social workers if possible along with officers to mental health calls.
It’s not clear when the Brooklyn Center City Council will vote on these proposals.MORE NEWS: Lawsuit Alleges Daunte Wright Shot Teen In Head In 2019, Causing 'Serious, Disabling And Permanent Injuries'
The end of Minnesota’s regularly scheduled state legislative session is Monday.