Activists say Brooklyn Center leaders are creating police reform blueprint

Activists are applauding Brooklyn Center leaders for passing a resolution that would change how police respond in the community.  

The resolution comes following the death of Wright and Kobe Heisler - two men killed by Brooklyn Center police officers within the last year.   

"I truly believe that if this was implemented prior to April 11th, our son will still be with us today," said Katie Wright, the mother of Daunte Wright. "If it was implemented a couple of years ago, Kobe Heisler would still be here today." 

Brooklyn Center City Council and Mayor Mike Elliot call the resolution a blueprint towards a safer community as it creates a new unarmed department to respond to traffic stops, low-level violations, and people experiencing a mental health crisis. A medical team, including social workers, will respond instead.   

"It’s going to give us more tools and options in our toolbox so that police are not the first, last, and only option […] when various members of our community are in need."  

The city council approved the resolution Saturday night, but the proposed changes still need to be implemented. 

City leaders say the resolution will improve overall public safety and promote racial justice, and now activists are calling on surrounding jurisdictions to do the same.  

"We are now asking the failed leadership of the city of Minneapolis and the city of St. Paul and cities across the country [as] you now have a blueprint to make your community safer for people of color and even police officers," Hussein, executive director of CAIR-MN.  

In a statement to FOX 9, Mayor Jacob Frey’s office said: 

"Enacting policies and changes that create a more equitable and inclusive community safety system – one that makes all residents feel safer in their communities – should be a core priority for all local governments. Both before the murder of George Floyd and after, we in Minneapolis have tirelessly engaged in this work, from moving forward with the most progressive body camera policies in the state, to becoming the first police department in the state to account for de-escalation in every single police report, among more than a dozen others. And we have every intention of continuing this momentum." 

Peter Leggett, communications director for the Office of Mayor Melvin Carter told FOX 9:  

"The crises of this past year demonstrate the critical need to evolve our public safety systems at the local level. The Mayor remains focused on continuing to build the most comprehensive, coordinated, and data-driven public safety system our city has ever endeavored."