Kim Potter trial looms as Brooklyn Center leaders consider changing curfew process

23November 2021

Leaders in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center are considering re-vamping the process used to declare a curfew as the city prepares for the start of the trial of one of its former police officers charged in the death of Daunte Wright.

The Brooklyn Center City Council discussed on Monday a resolution to create criteria to give the city manager the power to declare a curfew to allow residents to plan ahead. 

DAUNTE WRIGHT SHOOTING: EX-MINNESOTA COP KIM POTTER’S MANSLAUGHTER TRIAL RAISES SECURITY CONCERNS 

Daunte Wright, left, was killed in an April traffic stop. Kim Potter, right, is charged with manslaughter in his killing. Broolyn Center, Minnesota city leaders are considering a resolution to give the city manager the power to declare a curfew as Potter prepares to stand trial. 

Daunte Wright, left, was killed in an April traffic stop. Kim Potter, right, is charged with manslaughter in his killing. Broolyn Center, Minnesota city leaders are considering a resolution to give the city manager the power to declare a curfew as Potter prepares to stand trial. 
(Facebook/Hennepin County Sheriff)

“Staff and community was really challenged by our ability to, in a timely way, provide when a curfew would go into effect and allow people to make appropriate arrangements if they had known in advance of when it would happen,” City Manager Reggie Edwards told the council during Monday night’s meeting.

Former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter faces a second-degree manslaughter charge in the shooting death of Wright during an April 11 traffic stop. Her trial is slated to start on Nov. 30. 

The incident led to unrest and prompted authorities to declare a curfew as protesters clashed with police. 

The proposed resolution is time-limited to four days and requires a curfew on the day a verdict is announced. The city manager would have the option to extend it based on the proposed criteria. 

Brooklyn Center community members protest after the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on April 15. 

Brooklyn Center community members protest after the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minn., on April 15. 
(Mandatory Credit: Jasper Colt-USA TODAY)

Edwards added that the mayor could still declare a curfew and the criteria would not result in an automatic curfew. Some council members and Mayor Mike Elliott said they wanted more clarification before taking a vote. 

“I’m not really sure the message we’re sending if we’re passing this before trial,” said Councilwoman Marquita Butler.

Fire Chief Todd Berg mentioned the need to coordinate with Metro Transit so residents could get home and go about their daily lives in the event of a curfew.

“We heard from the community that last-minute curfews were hard,” said Berg. “What we’re asking is the pre-advertising at 1 o’clock would be the important part of community involvement and getting the community aware and give them proper time to plan or prepare for a curfew that night.” 

Pepper spray is used from behind the fenced up perimeters of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, as protests continued days after former police officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright.

Pepper spray is used from behind the fenced up perimeters of the Brooklyn Center Police Department, as protests continued days after former police officer Kim Potter fatally shot Daunte Wright.
(Reuters)

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The council will revisit the proposal on Nov. 29, the day before Potter’s trial starts. The resolution requires unanimous approval for it to pass. 

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