In the wake of the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop outside Minneapolis last week, city officials have approved a move toward unarmed traffic enforcers.
Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously on Friday for the development of a new Traffic Safety Division, which would be separate from the Minneapolis Police Department, FOX9 Minneapolis reported.
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The vote comes less than a week after Wright, 20, was fatally shot by Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter in the Minneapolis suburb.
Police have described the shooting of Wright as “an accidental discharge” that happened as officers were trying to arrest Wright on an outstanding warrant after stopping his car for having expired registration tags.
Councilmember Phillipe Cunningham outlined a staff directive regarding the proposed development in a document obtained by the station and posted on his social media account.
The document listed four goals of the new traffic enforcement division: Maximizing the traffic safety benefits of traffic enforcement, eliminating racial disparities in traffic enforcement, educating the public on safe driving behaviors and traffic laws, and earning the trust of communities harmed by earlier practices.
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“We urgently need traffic safety in our community,” Cunningham said Friday in a Facebook post announcing the proposal. “We also need for increasing traffic safety to not come at a great cost of harm to our neighbors in the process. This issue is very complex, but it is surmountable.”
Staff from the Office of Performance and Innovation have to report back to the Public Health and Safety Committee with a project timeline for the new division by the end of the second quarter this year, according to the document.
The City Council also voted 11-1 in opposition of using tear gas and other munitions as part of the state’s response to civil disorder, the station reported.