Skip to main content

Brooklyn Center ponders removal of ex-sheriff's name amid alleged KKK links

The former sheriff's name is used on several city buildings and sites.

Brooklyn Center is considering removing the name of one of its most well-known residents from buildings, streets, and even its annual festival amid a re-assessment of his alleged racist links.

At a city council work session last week, members discussed the potential removal of former Hennepin County Sheriff Earle Brown's name from city landmarks just a few weeks after the city's school board voted to rename the Earle Brown Elementary School as Brooklyn Center Elementary School.

The spark for the name change emerged from a 2013 book entitled The Ku Klux Klan in Minnesota by Elizabeth Dorsey Hatler, in which it's alleged that Brown was initiated into the KKK in 1923, though it's noted that another scholar disputes this claim having read Brown's diaries.

Brown died in 1963 and among other things is credited with founding the Minnesota State Highway Patrol.

His name is prominent in Brooklyn Center, and is used for Earle Brown Drive, the Earle Brown Heritage Center, and the annual Earle Brown Days Festival.

It comes amid a wider movement nationally to address landmarks, buildings and statues that honor historic figures with links to racism and slavery in the wake of George Floyd's death.

This was most prominently seen in Minneapolis, where Lake Calhoun was restored to its original Dakota name of Bde Maka Ska, with several businesses, streets and buildings nearby following suit, because of John C. Calhoun's support for slavery.

CCX Media reports that most Brooklyn Center City Council members are open to removing Brown's name from city locations, with Mayor Mike Elliott planning to set up a meeting with Hatler to discuss her findings about Brown's supposed KKK links.

Next Up


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.

George Floyd, protest

Twin Cities authorities preparing for community reaction to Tyre Nichols video

The ATF division in St. Paul sent out an alert out of "an abundance of caution."

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 2.12.05 PM

Changes at K102's Chris Carr & Company, with Sam Sansevere joining as co-host

She is the daughter of former KQRS morning show personality Bob Sansevere.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 1.16.21 PM

Minneapolis' Royal Foundry Craft Spirits announces closure

The distillery set out to infuse the Minneapolis craft cocktail scene with British flavor.


Shutterfly to cut almost 100 jobs at Shakopee facility

The layoffs are expected to impact multiple positions within the company.


protest, Daunte Wright

In letter, Hennepin Sheriff asks Brooklyn Center: Do you still want our help?

Dave Hutchinson has asked Mayor Mike Elliott whether the city still needs help from other law enforcement agencies.

Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 10.04.55 AM

Man who led 'Save Lake Calhoun' effort at center of racial profiling allegation

He threatened to call 911 on a group of black tenants in an office building gym.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 5.44.29 PM

Brooklyn Center fires city manager following Daunte Wright killing

The mayor has taken swift action after being granted extra powers by the city council on Monday.

Tim Gannon

Brooklyn Center recommends firing police chief and officer who shot Daunte Wright

The new acting city manager will make the decision on Tuesday.

protest, Daunte Wright

Police and protesters clash, arrests made after more unrest in Brooklyn Center

Police once again used tear gas, flash bangs, and 'less-lethal' ammunition on protesters.

michaels brooklyn center

Brooklyn Center PD, Michaels discriminated against Black teen, state finds

"Don't kill me, I want to grow up," the boy said after being thrown to the ground by officers.

Arby's apologizes over offensive Brooklyn Center display sign

The sign was hijacked by someone who put up the offensive language, Arby's said.