Mayor of Brooklyn Center says police ‘don’t need weapons’ during traffic stops

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The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

BROOKLYN CENTER, MN- Some morons simply should keep their mouths shut. What’s the saying? “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

Nowhere is that more applicable than to the clearly brain-dead mayor of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, who should perhaps do a ride-along with police in nearby Minneapolis before he makes ridiculous, ignorant, insane comments.

According to the Washington Examiner, Mayor Mike Elliot was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday when he made perhaps the stupidest comment an elected official has ever made.

Well of course not counting any member of “The Squad,” who make idiotic statements pretty much on a daily basis.  

“I don’t believe that officers need to necessarily have weapons every time they’re making a traffic stop,” Elliot said, in response to the police-involved shooting of Duante Wright on Sunday.

Let’s be clear about this…Elliot didn’t say firearms…he said weapons.

By the definition of weapons, does Elliot only mean firearms or is he talking about less lethal weapons such as tasers, pepper spray, impact weapons, etc.? Then again, does it really, it doesn’t matter?

Body camera footage released of the shooting shows a struggle between Wright and police officers, yet another black man who refused to comply with police commands, fought with them, and attempted to flee. Had Wright simply complied with police orders, he would still be alive.

Police held active warrants for Wright for failing to appear in court. One of the underlying charges had to do with possession of an unregistered handgun. Was this known to the officers, and in particular to the officer who accidentally discharged her firearm? Nobody knows. 

That is not to take away from the terrible mistake made by the Brooklyn Center officer who mistakenly used her firearm instead of a Taser. Clearly she bears accountability as well for what happened, but criminal charges? 

As Wright tries to flee, the officer, Kim Potter yells, “Taser! Taser! Taser!” just before Wright is shot. Clearly her intent was to use a less lethal option on Wright. 

“Holy shit, I shot him!” said Potter, a 26-year department veteran, who submitted her resignation earlier Tuesday, along with Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.

Gannon had faced sharp criticism after referring to the violent riots and looting that took place this week as violent riots and looting, as opposed to the media narrative of “peaceful protests.”

As if Elliot’s comments about police carrying weapons during traffic stops wasn’t bad enough, he also seems to have a bit of an issue understanding that whole United States Constitution thing. 

Curt Boganey is the former town manager of Brooklyn Center. Why exactly is he the former town manager? Because he had the audacity–the unmitigated gall–to suggest that Officer Potter was entitled to due process. 

Elliot, who is more interested in placating the mob than being fair wanted to fire Potter immediately, while Boganey, who clearly possesses significantly more brain cells than Elliot called for a more measured approach. 

“All employees working for the city of Brooklyn Center are entitled to due process with respect to discipline,” Boganey said. “This employee will receive due process and that’s really all that I can say.” 

Contrast that with Mr. Politically Correct Elliot. 

“Let me be very clear–my position is that we cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life of other people in our profession. I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties.” 

That of course would not stand with Elliot, who just hours later released the following statement:

“Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties, and the deputy city manager will be assuming his duties moving forward,” Elliot said. “I will continue to work my hardest to ensure good leadership at all levels of our city government.” 

So let that sink in…Elliot fired the city manager because he thought that Officer Potter should get the benefit of due process. 

Elliot’s decision led to his getting slammed on Twitter.

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Elliot’s comments about police being ostensibly disarmed drew the ire of Fox News contributor and attorney Leo Terrell, who accused Elliot of “playing to an anti-cop crowd” when he made his stupid statement about cops not needing to carry guns at a traffic stop.

Speaking to Fox News host Sandra Smith, Terrell said:

“Sandra this is unbelievable. He’s not ready for prime time. What are his qualifications to articulate such a statement? I would submit to you that he’s not a police officer,” he told Smith.

Continuing, Terrell responded to Elliot saying:

“I don’t believe officers need to necessarily have weapons every time they’re making a traffic stop. Or engaged in situations that don’t necessarily call for more weapons.”

“He doesn’t have any formal police officer training so what gives him those qualifications or the audacity to say that? I would also submit to you for you to consider Sandra, the New Mexico situation where an officer was shot at a routine traffic stop. Every routine traffic stop is not routine.”

Terrell continued:

“All facts are different. Ant this mayor does not have the qualifications to even make a statement. I submit to you that he was playing to the crowd that was basically anti-cop.”

 

The New Mexico incident Terrell was referring to was related to a video released by New Mexico State Police which showed the brutal execution of New Mexico State Police Officer Darian Jarrott on Feb. 4 during one of those “routine traffic stops” at which Elliot said police officers didn’t need to be armed.

FOX 32 News showed the graphic video (below) which shows the moment that 39-year-old Omar Felix Cueva fired an AR-15 style rifle at the officer across the pickup truck’s bed.

As Jarrott lay on the ground Cueva fired again, and ten as Cueva ran toward the front of the truck, he fatally shot Jarrott point-blank in the back of the head. Fortunately, Cueva was killed in a shootout with police officers later on after a pursuit.

No Elliot, cops clearly don’t need weapons on “routine” traffic stops.

Of course, the current occupant of the White House, Joe Biden had to weigh in on the shooting of Wright, once again throwing police officers under the bus, insinuating that black Americans go through this “every day.”

In a tweet, Biden’s handlers wrote, “Today I’m thinking about Daunte Wright and his family—and the pain anger and trauma that Black America experiences every day. While we await a full investigation, we know what we need to do to move forward: rebuild trust and ensure accountability so no one is above the law.”

Of course the irony of Biden’s tweet is that there is currently an officer, Derek Chauvin, on trial around 10 miles away for the death of George Floyd. Apparently Chauvin is being held accountable and is not above the law.  

Of course, we could go through hundreds if not thousands of police officers who have been killed during “routine” traffic stops or “routine” investigatory stops. The Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) is full of them. Maybe Elliot should go take a look.

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