Minnesota mayor pleads with residents to “stay home” amid protests
▶ Watch Video: Brooklyn Center, Minnesota mayor on deadly police shooting of Daunte Wright
Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Mayor Mike Elliott is calling for his residents to stay calm and “stay home” after a second night of protests over the fatal police shooting of a 20-year-old man at a traffic stop. Demonstrators on Monday defied a 7 p.m. curfew and clashed with law enforcement.
“We’re going to make sure that we get to the bottom of this case. We’re going to make sure that justice is done. We also are going to protect people’s rights to gather peacefully,” Elliott said on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday.
“There are a number of people who are demonstrating, and that is part of change. But just everybody know that we’re working hard to make sure that we’re keeping the community safe, and making sure that justice is ultimately delivered.”
Daunte Wright was shot and killed by Officer Kim Potter Sunday after he was pulled over for an expired registration tag on his license plate. In newly-released body camera video, Wright can be seen getting back into his car after a struggle with police.
Potter can be seen pointing her firearm at Wright and shouting “taser” three times before discharging her weapon. Wright drove a short distance away before crashing his vehicle and succumbing to the gunshot wound.
The shooting occurred just outside of Minneapolis, where the trial of Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd in police custody has renewed painful racial tensions that caused weeks of unrest in the city last summer.
At a press conference Monday, the Brooklyn Center police chief called the shooting an “accidental discharge.”
“It’s hard for me to say what the officer was thinking, the video does indicate that there was some degree, you know, of her, you know, grabbing the wrong weapon,” Elliott said.
Elliott reiterated his position for Potter to be fired from the force.
“If you kill someone in any other line of work, you are at the very least going to lose your job,” he said.
Elliott also said he spoke with Wright’s family.
“What I can say, after my conversation with Mr. Wright’s father, is that justice looks like full accountability under the law,” he said. “There’s going to be a process where the officer is going to be in court. And is going to go through the legal system to determine guilt or innocence.”
However, he said the killing did point to a larger issue in the United States.
“One thing we do know is that far too often, young Black men and women are pulled over by law enforcement in this country, and end up dead. You know, that is unacceptable,” Elliott said. “I think that is a reflection of a system that needs transformation.”