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Brooklyn Center Sets Police Reform Model For State Legislature

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Legislature is continuing to try to come to a compromise on police reform, but so far the sides remain far apart.

The city of Brooklyn Center, where Daunte Wright was killed in April, has already passed some of the reforms some legislators are proposing.

With just 30,000 residents, the city of Brooklyn Center found itself in the national spotlight after police officer Kim Potter shot and killed Wright during a traffic stop. Body camera video and audio shows Potter appears to have mistaken her service revolver for her Taser.

Also center stage, the 37-year-old mayor of Brooklyn Center Mike Elliott, who was first elected in 2018. Elliott fired the city manager and with the green light from the city council is now in charge of the police department. Last month, the city council has voted for a series of reforms that have yet to be fully implemented, including having unarmed officers handle traffic stops and tickets, not a trip to jail, for arrest warrants for minor charges. Elliott was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

"We are right now in the process of implementing our citations and summons policies and then we are working through a work plan for how we are going to implement our mental health response team, our unarmed traffic enforcement teams and set up the rest of the departments that the resolution approved," he said.

Supporters of police reform are pushing for those same reforms and more at the state Legislature. Elliott, who emigrated to the U.S. as a child, says he looks forward to leading Brooklyn Center, one of the state's most diverse cities, during more peaceful times. Officially he is still a part-time mayor, earning $13,000 a year for the job. Professionally he is a software engineer and entrepreneur.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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