Activists berate Brooklyn Center City Council after it votes down new policing policy

The resolution was put together in response to the death of Daunte Wright.

Brooklyn Center
Immediately after the resolution was voted down, multiple people in the city council chambers began berating the city council. (City of Brooklyn Center)

The Brooklyn Center City Council voted down a proposed resolution Monday that would have kept police officers from making basic traffic stops.

Specifically, the policy would have prevented Brooklyn Center police officers from pulling over drivers for broken lights, expired vehicle registration, a non-functioning license plate lamp, exceeding vehicle noise rules, and other violations.

The resolution was put together in response to the death of Daunte Wright.

In 2021, the Brooklyn Center City Council authorized the establishment of the Community Safety & Violence Prevention Implementation Committee. That committee was tasked with studying public safety data and recommending “health-oriented approaches to community safety.” Those recommendations would eventually be considered by Brooklyn Center’s city council for adoption as official policy.

After months of meetings, the recommendations put forward by the committee and Brooklyn Center staff were drafted into the resolution that was voted on earlier this week.

At Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor April Graves spoke before the proposed policy was voted down. Stating that she was “proud of the recommendations that we have in front of us this evening,” Mayor Graves admitted that the recommendations being considered were a “compromise.” Furthermore, the mayor said that “Brooklyn Center faces many of the same public safety challenges and racial and economic disparities that are prevalent nationally.”

Only one other council member spoke about the resolution, Councilor Marquita Butler. In her remarks on the resolution, Butler said, “this is a compromise. The policy in front of us is not the policy I wanted to vote for.” While disappointed, Butler said the resolution would bring Brooklyn Center “forward.”

Mayor Graves and Councilor Butler were the only two votes to approve the resolution. The remaining three councilors, Dan Jerzak, Teneshia Kragness and Kris Lawrence-Anderson, voted against the resolution. As such, the resolution failed 3-2.

Immediately after the resolution was voted down, multiple people in the city council chambers began berating the city council. One person pointed at the three councilors who voted against the resolution and said, “I swear to God I hope your kids die.”

Katie Wright, Daunte Wright’s mother, was in attendance on Monday night. Wright, who also goes by Katie Bryant, served on the city committee that recommended the proposed traffic stop resolution. Further, Wright actually was selected as the chair of the committee’s policy workgroup.

When the resolution was voted down, Wright stormed out of the city council chambers. However, she returned just moments later and charged up to the podium to lambast the city council.

“You guys are some sorry people, and more people are going to die because you guys didn’t do the right thing!” Wright exclaimed through tears.

Pointing directly at Councilor Dan Jerzak, Wright yelled, “Dan Jerzak is the most racist person on this thing, and I’m gonna make sure everybody knows that!”

In response to the multiple outbursts, the city council took a brief recess.

When the city council returned from the recess, they adjourned the meeting as a group of people chanted Daunte Wright’s name. In addition, the group repeatedly yelled, “No justice, no peace!”

Despite her selection to serve on the city’s policing policy committee, Katie Wright has an extensive criminal record going back many years, including convictions on theft and disorderly conduct, according to court records. In 2020, Wright was convicted of a second-degree drug felony.

Wright received a downward departure from the sentencing guidelines; a stayed sentence instead of prison time. On Oct. 26, 2023, Wright completed her probation for the drug felony.

Two of the five members of Brooklyn Center’s city council are white; the other three city councilors are black. In voting down the resolution, one black city councilor joined the two white councilors in opposition.

In addition to the resolution on traffic stops, the city council also voted down a resolution to track data on consent searches. That resolution was voted down by the same three city councilors.


Luke Sprinkel

Luke Sprinkel previously worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He grew up as a Missionary Kid (MK) living in England, Thailand, Tanzania, and the Middle East. Luke graduated from Regent University in 2018.