Brooklyn Center City Council rejects proposal to reform police policy

Protest erupted at the Brooklyn Center City Council meeting Monday night after city leaders voted down a proposal to limit traffic stops for minor traffic violations.

In a 3-2 vote, the council rejected the resolution which would have prohibited officers from initiating traffic stops based solely on things like expired tabs and broken tail lights.

Katie Wright, the mother of 20-year-old Daunte Wright who was killed by Brooklyn Center Police in April 2021, left the meeting in tears. She admonished the council for not adopting the change.

"My son has been dead for two years and nine months and you guys say no to a policy that’s going to protect people," she said. 

Wright believes the decision not to pass the resolution, which had been developed and prepared over a 1.5-year period with input from several different stakeholders, violates the city’s $3.25 million settlement with the family in which the city agreed to "changes in police policy and training."

Mayor April Graves and council member Marquita Butler were the sole ‘yes’ votes, while council members Dan Jerzak, Teneshia Kragness, and Kris Lawrence-Anderson voted no.

Daunte Wright, 20, was pulled over in April 2021 for expired tabs. When officers discovered he had an outstanding warrant they tried to arrest him. Former officer Kim Potter claimed she thought she pulled her taser when in reality she pulled her gun and shot him.

The proposal would have prohibited officers from conducting traffic stops solely for any combination of the following offenses: 

  1. Invalid or expired registration
  2. No functioning license plate lamp
  3. No operative muffler
  4. Exceeding motor vehicle noise
  5. Objects suspended between the driver and the windshield, such as an air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror
  6. Improperly displayed registration sticker
  7. Driving with only one working headlight or rear light

Before the start of Monday’s meeting, Katie Wright told FOX 9 that she believed these changes could have prevented her son’s death.

"It's really important because no family will have to go through what our family has over expired tabs."