The city council in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, approved a number of police policy changes Saturday night as part of the repercussions of the April 11 police shooting death of Daunte Wright, which drew national attention.
The changes include the creation of a new department of public safety that will be staffed with unarmed traffic officers and a mental health response division, FOX 9 of Minneapolis reported.
The proposals were approved on a 4-1 vote, prompting cheers and applause from members of the public who attended the meeting, the report said.
Officials with the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association and other groups had raised concerns about possible changes, including whether unarmed officers would be safe in handling traffic stops, which often lead to dangerous situations.
DAUNTE WRIGHT DEATH: BROOKLYN CENTER PROPOSES UNARMED TRAFFIC STOPS IN NEW POLICE REFORM PLAN
“Brooklyn Center did not look to be in the national spotlight on these issues but here we are,” Mayor Michael Elliott said in a statement. “And given the tragic incidents that occurred here, including those taking the lives of Daunte Wright and Kobe Dimock-Heisler, we must respond with a commitment to do better, and today’s vote is a part of that response.”
Dimock-Heisler was a Black man who was also killed by local police, in 2019.
Elliott had introduced the proposed police changes last weekend and the city council members debated the details during the week ahead of Saturday’s vote, FOX 9 reported.
Wright, 20, was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, which lies just north of Minneapolis.
Authorities have claimed that the officer, identified as Kim Potter, mistakenly used her handgun against Wright instead of her stun gun.
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Potter was arrested April 14 and charged with second-degree manslaughter, and was later released on bond, pending further legal action in the case.
The Wright shooting occurred while the Minneapolis area was focused on a separate case, the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, who was ultimately convicted in the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.
Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced in June following the conviction.