The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, said Tuesday that he doesn’t think police officers “need to necessarily have weapons every time they’re making a traffic stop.”
Mike Elliott expressed his belief while responding to a question during a press conference addressing Sunday’s officer-involved shooting of Daunte Wright. (RELATED: Brooklyn Center City Council Fires City Manager After He Called For Due Process)
“Can we count on you to immediately and unequivocally end traffic enforcement by armed police officers, and to halt the practice of allowing officers to make custodial arrests and use of force for misdemeanor offenses, and instead issue citations and summons?” a member of the crowd at Elliott’s press conference asked.
“And would you keep that policy in place until there’s a complete and transparent investigation of Daunte Wright’s death that results in recommendations focused on justice and accountability for his family and community on systemic fixes that will reduce the risk of additional unnecessary violence, death, and tragedy for the family members of Brooklyn Center?” the crowd member continued.
Elliott responded by saying that he was “predisposed” to do everything he could to reduce situations where the use of deadly force is necessary. He then said to the member of the crowd that he wanted to see the full text of the request, so that he could read through it in greater detail.
“I don’t believe that officers need to necessarily have weapons every time they’re making a traffic stop or engaged in situations that don’t necessarily call for weapons,” Elliott continued. “We know that there are many other jurisdictions, even around the world, where that is not necessarily the case. It’s not needed.”
“And so I am very much interested in receiving the full text of the policies that you’re recommending to us so that we can review that. Whatever we can do to make sure that our communities are kept safe, we want to do that,” he concluded.
26-year veteran officer Kim Potter accidentally fired her handgun at Wright instead of her taser, according to her account. The situation occurred during a traffic stop as officers were attempting to take Wright into custody over outstanding warrants. Wright attempted to flee by getting back in his vehicle, which caused a struggle between him and the officers.