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


Glensheen Mansion reveals new coffee bar - with fresh donuts

It's located in the historic Carriage House garage space

Bogdan Vechirko

Charges against trucker who barreled through protestors could be dropped

Bogdan Vechirko will have to avoid legal trouble for a year.

Dychaun Chew - South High School Facebook

Loved ones mourn 16-year-old killed in Minneapolis hit-and-run

South High School held a balloon release for Dychaun Chew Thursday evening.

police lights

5-year-old dies 3 weeks after assault, mother's charges upped to murder

The girl died three weeks after the assault took place.

hospital, emergency room

2 teens, Texas man suffer life-threatening injuries in MN crash

One of the drivers crossed the center line and hit the other vehicle.

WIkimedia Commons - Frey April 20, 2021

Frey under fire for $359K Agape contract awarded via COVID order

Some council members called it a "misuse" of his powers, but the mayor pushed back.

minneapolis mayor - Sheila Nezhad and Jacob Frey

Minneapolis DFL fails to endorse a candidate for mayor

Sheila Nezhad and Jacob Frey finished first and second, respectively, in the endorsement process.


Maplewood man charged with DWI after 'guys weekend' ends in tragedy

The 32-year-old was drunk-driving a pontoon, with one of his friends falling off and dying.


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 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.

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.

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.

Arby's apologizes over offensive Brooklyn Center display sign

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


Curfew set at 11 p.m. in Brooklyn Center, Champlin Saturday

More protests are expected in Brooklyn Center.