The executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association is highly critical of Brooklyn Center's mayor following the police shooting death of Daunte Wright, calling the city’s leadership “completely ridiculous.”
Brian Peters, who at one time was a Brooklyn Center police commander, also blamed Wright’s conduct during the deadly police stop as a contributing factor to a series of events that led to his death.
“The decisions that this mayor is making is completely just nothing like I’ve ever seen,” Peters told Dave Lee on the WCCO Morning News.
Following Sunday’s shooting death, which have sparked three nights of oftentimes violent demonstrations at the Brooklyn Center police station, Mayor Mike Elliott fired long-time city manager Curt Boganey.
In the first city-held news conference following the shooting, Boganey said that the officer who shot Wright would get “due process.”
That officer, Kim Potter, has resigned from the police department, as has former chief Tim Gannon, who called the incident an “accidental discharge” because Potter seemingly believed she was using a taser instead of her firearm.
“This is way over his head,” said Peters. “Both Curt Bogany and Tim Gannon were political pawns in whatever game the current mayor is playing. If I were the mayor, I would not allow the political activists run the show.”
Peters claims Elliott invited community activists to that first media briefing.
“If you watch that press conference, you can see the community activists ran that press conference,” he said.
In the police body cam video released Monday, Potter can be heard shouting “taser, taser” when it appeared Wright tried to bolt from officers.
She was also heard expressing shock and surprise that she fired her firearm instead of a taser.
“This is going to be an unpopular statement… Daunte Wright, if he would have just complied, he was told was under arrest, they were arresting him on a warrant for weapons, he set off a chain of events that unfortunately led to his death,” Peters said.
“I’m not excusing it, but what we’re seeing in policing these days is that non-compliance by the public.”
Peters said relations between the public and police can always be improved, noting that trust is successfully built up over time by many officers in Minnesota.
“To cast a dark shadow over the majority of police officers in this state, I think, is unwarranted,” Peters said.