Amid Killing Of Daunte Wright, U.S. Based Liberian Brooklyn Center Mayor, Elliott Faces Challenges In His First Term
For many Liberian survivors of the civil wars that tore their African country apart, the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center was what New York City was to Jewish escapees of the Holocaust and what Chicago was to Poles exiled after World War II — a safe place to start over.
One of the Liberians who found a haven in Brooklyn Center is Mayor Mike Elliott, who was 11 when his grandmother spirited him out of Liberia.
Now, in the wake of the killing of Daunte Wright, who was Black, by a white police officer, Elliott faces the biggest challenge of his first term as he tries to lead Brooklyn Center through a crisis that threatens to shred the social fabric in one of Minnesota’s most ethnically and racially diverse cities.
George Larson, a former principal of Brooklyn Center High School, met Elliott when he was a teenager and remains close to the mayor, who is 37 years old. He said Elliott is up to the challenge.
“He was born with the leadership gene,” Larson said. “He always showed that kind of composure. And I think his classmates recognized his leadership qualities, because they elected him president of his 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade class.”
Thrust onto the national stage by Sunday’s shooting, Elliott was quick to condemn the actions of Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer charged with second-degree manslaughter for shooting Wright in the chest.
“We cannot afford to make mistakes that lead to the loss of life,” Elliott said Monday. “I do fully support releasing the officer of her duties.”
Elliott went out to try to calm the angry protesters waging a noisy demonstration outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department. On Monday, he took control of the police department after the City Council voted to give him “command authority.”
“At such a tough time, this will streamline things and establish a chain of command and leadership,” Elliott tweeted.
In short order, Brooklyn Center’s city manager was fired and Police Chief Tim Gannon, who said Potter may have mistaken her pistol for her Taser when she shot Wright, resigned. Elliott said he would turn his attention to revamping the police department.
Source: Yahoo News