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Brooklyn Center mayor blasts police for 'gassing' protesters
Brooklyn Center, Minn., Mayor Mike Elliott on Friday slammed the use of tear gas by local police officers on demonstrators who have gathered around the city to protest the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright.
Elliott made his remarks during a news conference, where he stated that "gassing is not a human way of policing," according to The Associated Press.
Protests have erupted throughout the city for several days following the Sunday shooting in which former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who resigned on Wednesday, shot 20-year-old Wright during a traffic stop. According to Elliott, officers attempting to monitor the crowds deployed pepper spray, paintballs and tear gas against protesters.
On Monday, the Brooklyn Center City Council passed a measure to ban local officers from using chemicals such as tear gas, police lines and chokeholds to arrest protesters. According to the resolution, demonstrators are also permitted to record police officers, AP noted.
While the resolution applies to local law enforcement, it does not have any effect on Minnesota's Hennepin County Sheriff's Department or the Minnesota National Guard, which are both providing support to local police at Brooklyn Center's request, according to AP.
"The city's actions since Sunday evening have created significant confusion" about whether the city still needed support. Sheriff David Hutchinson wrote in a letter to Elliott on Wednesday. "In order to maintain peace and safety, it is critical that the City of Brooklyn Center communicate with its State, County, and local law enforcement partners regarding its ongoing need for mutual aid."
The city issued a nightly curfew to curb gatherings; however, in the past few days gatherings were declared unlawful prior to the curfew time.
A local liberal-leaning group also called for an end to the curfews as well as an end to using tear gas, the news outlet reported.
"The last few nights have been marred with unconscionable acts of oppression," the group said in a letter. "This is not how we build a safer place for one another."