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Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Mayor Mike Elliott, has been bowing to pressure from “political activists,” following Sunday’s police shooting death of Daunte Wright, a police union official claimed Wednesday.
Brian Peters, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, made the remarks during an interview on Minneapolis radio station WCCO-AM. Peters previously served as police commander in Brooklyn Center, the Twin Cities suburb where police said Wright, 20, was fatally shot by police Officer Kim Potter on Sunday.
“If you watch that press conference, you can see the community activists ran that press conference,” Peters said, referring to one of the mayor’s appearances before reporters this week.
“If I were the mayor, I would not allow the political activists [to] run the show,” he added.
“If I were the mayor, I would not allow the political activists [to] run the show.”
Peters asserted that departed City Manager Curt Boganey, who was fired this week, and police Chief Tim Gannon, who resigned, were “political pawns” used by Elliott, whom Peters claimed was in “way over his head” in dealing with the fallout from the Wright shooting death.
Boganey had been criticized for saying Potter was entitled to “due process,” while Elliott called for Potter’s firing. Gannon drew criticism for claiming the shooting was accidental.
Elliott, an immigrant from Liberia, has been Brooklyn Center’s mayor since January 2019.
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, Mayor Mike Elliott speaks to reporters April 12, 2021. (Getty Images)
“The decisions that this mayor is making is completely just nothing like I’ve ever seen,” Peters said.
In the same interview, Peters said Wright’s non-compliance with police officers set off “a chain of events” that led to his death after a traffic stop Sunday.
Potter, a veteran officer who resigned Tuesday, has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death and was out on bond Wednesday night.
Wright should have ‘just complied’
During the radio interview, Peters said non-compliance from the public was a growing concern for police officers as they perform their duties.
“This is going to be an unpopular statement,” Peters said, according to WCCO. “Daunte Wright, if he would have just complied – he was told he was under arrest, they were arresting him on a warrant for weapons – he set off a chain of events that unfortunately led to his death.
“Daunte Wright … set off a chain of events that unfortunately led to his death.”
“I’m not excusing it,” Peters added, referring to Potter allegedly shooting Wright, which police have attributed to Potter mistaking her service weapon for a stun gun. “But we’re seeing in policing these days is that non-compliance by the public.”
Former police Officer Kim Potter, right, is facing criminal charges in the shooting death of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Peters added that many police officers in Minnesota have built up trust over the years with the communities they serve – and periodic police shootings, while tragic, shouldn’t negate the hard work that many officers have done.
“To cast a dark shadow over the majority of police officers in this state, I think, is unwarranted,” Peters told WCCO.
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