As protests grip Brooklyn Center following the killing of Daunte Wright, the city announced plans for a community crisis team at a press conference April 14.
The volunteer-based nine member group contains members representing the business, faith, education, nonprofit community, as well as city government.
“It's a developing team,” Acting City Manager Reggie Edwards said. “We will meet daily for the next 10 days in order to assure coordination as the city moves forward. This is a new way of us trying to create a path forward, it's a new opportunity for us to bridge relationships and to share understanding, perspectives, and to gain insights from those outside the walls of city government.”
Edwards declined to name members of the group. He said members will share their experiences in hopes of shaping the response to civil unrest in the city.
“What happened at the protests yesterday? And we try to learn and try to see what that looked like and how that experience was from the eyes of those who are around the table,” Edwards said. “Then we ask the question, how does that inform what we will do today? So today we're taking on and trying to do things that are a little bit different than we did yesterday.”
The team will increase the communication between the community and law enforcement, Edwards said.
“We understand this will not change overnight. Relationships will not be built overnight. Trust will not be built overnight,” he said.
Strategies to improve public safety will be developed daily, Edwards said.
Mayor Mike Elliott asked the community to protest peacefully. “The eyes of the world are watching Brooklyn Center,” he said. “I urge you to protest peacefully and without violence. Let us show the best of our community.”
Law enforcement is working to identify agitators within the protest groups, Elliott said.
“We know that there are agitators that show up looking to stir things up and to confront and engage law enforcement in ways that the vast number of people who are coming to the protest are not intending to do,” he said.