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Minneapolis suburb approves policing changes following Daunte Wright’s death

The city will create new divisions of unarmed civilian workers to manage non-moving traffic violations and respond to mental health crises.

Daunte Wright Daunte Wright/Facebook

The Minneapolis suburb where 20-year-old Daunte Wright was fatally shot by a police officer has approved proposals that will implement changes to its policing practices.

According to AP, the Brooklyn Center City Council voted 4-1 over the weekend in favor of a resolution to create new divisions of unarmed civilian workers to manage non-moving traffic violations and respond to mental health crises. It will also restrict circumstances in which officers can make arrests and require more de-escalation attempts by police before using deadly force. A new Department of Community Safety and Violence Prevention, which will be led by a director with public health expertise, will be created to oversee efforts on community health and public safety.

The decision “will establish a new north star for our community, one that will keep all of us safe,” said Mike Elliott, Brooklyn Center mayor. “It says that we, as your elected leaders, are committing ourselves. And that you can hold us accountable for achieving those goals.”

The mayor introduced the resolution last week, less than a month after Wright was shot and killed by former Brooklyn Center Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop. The young man was initially pulled over because he had an expired registration on the vehicle. Officers then noticed the air fresheners hanging on his mirror, which was another violation. Authorities found out that there was an outstanding warrant for Wright and attempted to handcuff and arrest him, but he tried to get back into his vehicle.

Potter, who is a 26-year veteran of the department and former president of the union, deployed her firearm and shot Wright in the chest. She said that she meant to shoot her taser instead of her gun.

She resigned from the department days after the shooting and is now facing second-degree manslaughter charges for Wright’s death. On April 14, Potter was released from the Hennepin County Jail on $100,000 bail.

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