The City of Brooklyn Center says it has been working on several strategies to ensure people have a space to protest peacefully during the trial of Kimberly Potter.
The former police officer is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop on April 11.
Jury selection begins on Tuesday in Minneapolis, with opening statements scheduled for Dec. 8.
“Our community is going through a very difficult time. The City of Brooklyn Center remains committed to providing various resources to and prioritizing the safety of our residents, businesses, families and employees throughout the community” said City Manager Reginald Edwards.
In a news release Monday, the city said it has been working since last summer to prepare for the trial and peaceful protesting. That includes increasing communication with residents and businesses, especially those around the Brooklyn Center Police Department on North Humboldt Avenue, which was the focus of demonstrations — some destructive — last April.
The city says it will provide "relevant information" to the community about the trial and the impacts "at least weekly." These updates will be shared on the city's website, on Twitter and on its Facebook page. Those who want emergency alerts can sign up for them by texting "BCMN" to 99411 or signup for govDELIVERY online here.
Among the other steps the city is taking, according to the release:
- Partnering with other law enforcement agencies to help patrol the city
- Putting up public signage to identify areas for protests and "utilizing space and distance to de-escalate tension in the protest area"
- "Engaging community-based interveners" to help with creating a safe space for peaceful protests.
- "Organizing and engaging youth to actively participate" in peaceful protests
- Collaborate with community groups to provide support for healing and trauma management
- Putting together communication packets with information and tips for businesses
In addition, the Brooklyn Center City Council on Monday night held a meeting, during which it voted against imposing a citywide curfew after the verdict is read. It would have also given the city manager the ability to extend the curfew for four days if needed to protect public safety.
Those against the proposal said putting a curfew in place before an emergency arises sends the wrong message. Mayor Mike Elliott was among those against the proposal.
The mayor can call a curfew, as can a unanimous vote by the City Council, the Star Tribune says.