Residents living near Brooklyn Center PD say they need mental health resources, help moving

Tear gas fills the air during a protest near the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Monday, April 12 following the deadly police shooting of Daunte Wright. (FOX 9)

About 60 families living in the Sterling Square apartment complex across the street from the Brooklyn Center Police Department have been dealing with protests, unrest and police response in the three weeks since Daunte Wright was killed.

Many of those residents include families with small children. Some of the people there say they and their children have been traumatized by the constant activity outside of their building. From tear gas, to flashbangs, to fireworks, to violent and loud demonstrators at all hours of the night.

"It’s been very traumatic," Kia Welch said about her family, other families and the Brooklyn Center community’s experience the last few weeks. 

Welch has been communicating with Brooklyn Center city leaders trying to get resources to other families in the building. She says they shouldn’t have to pay for things like cleaning services to get chemicals from tear gas out of their apartment, mental health resources for themselves and their children and assistance to help them move somewhere where they feel safe.

"We’re like sitting ducks. We’re like sitting ducks and the best thing we can do for our families is to get as far away from here as we can," mother and tenant Moneack Curry said.

They say people have been trying to break into the building. One night, they say someone tried setting a fire in their hallway.

"We see that the police station and they’re fenced in, they’re protected but like where’s the safety and security for the residents?" Welch said. They say the city has laid out a plan to address some of these concerns. Welch and Curry say they feel like the city does want to provide resources and is on board with helping them, but they fear the help isn’t coming fast enough.

"We see the presentation and it looks awesome. it looks like ‘yeah we’re catering to your needs, we’re doing everything and we have all of these things in place,’ but it’s like when? When are they going to become effective? When are we going to start seeing these things come into play," Welch said.

In a statement the city said:

"While direct city resources are limited, the City Council has authorized reimbursement to residents for damage to personal property, a process being conducted in partnership with Our Sisters Keepers MN, as a trusted non-profit in the community;

The City is working with Hennepin Country to ensure that mental health and other direct services are available for those experiencing continued trauma; the County is providing navigators to assist residents in finding the resources they need;

The City is also working with Monarch Property Management, managers of the apartment complex near the Police Department, to ensure full deep cleaning and completed repairs, and that security measures are meeting the needs of residents.

City leadership have begun a series of listening sessions, in different locations and varying times, to ensure that residents and businesses have opportunities to be heard regarding their needs and concerns.  Healing circles will also be introduced in some of these sessions as part of the community’s efforts to recover."

Welch and Curry say many of the GoFundMe pages raising money to help people in their buildings never ended up in the hands of residents. Now they, and the city of Brooklyn Center, are working with the organization My Sister’s Keeper MN to raise funds to help these residents. You can find more information by clicking here.