Civil Rights Lawyer: Brooklyn Center Police Reform Proposals May Be ‘Historic’

From Tuesday, people will no longer be arrested or detained for misdemeanors, but will be issued citations unless their behavior escalates into danger to themselves or the public. Crimes and serious misdemeanor arrests, under state law, will always be enforced with arrests.

Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott said Tuesday’s policy change reflected the wishes of Brooklyn Center residents.

“We designed this policy, this resolution, by centering the voices of the community because that’s what we think is necessary to create this new vision,” Elliott said.

Leaders in the city of central Brooklyn have also proposed much larger police reform initiatives, which include determining when the use of lethal force is necessary, restricting the use of less lethal weapons, and even possibly to create a community intervention department for calls involving a person suffering from medical problems. , mental health or disability related issues.

Minneapolis-based civil rights attorney Kenneth Udoibok told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the action taken by the Brooklyn Center on Tuesday is a “good first step,” but also said much more needed to be done in the area of ​​police reform.

“It’s a good step, but it’s a small step, but at least the city recognizes that its citizens are stressed,” Udoibok said. “There is no way that all of these reforms will be implemented, but if they are, the Brooklyn Center will be an outlier to the rest of the country and it will be a test case and it would be historic.”

Udoibok told KSTP that in his opinion the issue of citations instead of misdemeanor arrests is well-intentioned, but he said the real issue was “what happens in any police check with racial minorities.” .

“The real issue is how law enforcement behaves when they meet us and, in particular, when the appeal is about mental health issues and appeals about non-serious social issues,” said Udoibok.

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