The national debate around racism and police shootings — and the subsequent protests, rioting, and looting — began again Sunday night in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota following the officer-involved shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black male who was being arrested on an outstanding warrant during a traffic stop.
A top official in that suburb north of Minneapolis, City Manager Curt Boganey, was summarily fired by the city council and mayor in the aftermath after asserting that the officer involved in the incident deserved “due process” prior to facing any punishment for her actions, Fox News reported.
Fired after calling for “due process”
Boganey’s firing was announced Monday evening on Twitter by Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott, who at a press conference earlier that day had called for the officer involved to be immediately released from the police force, only to be contradicted by Boganey during that same conference when he suggested that any punitive actions should wait until an investigation was conducted.
Elliot tweeted, “Effective immediately our city manager has been relieved of his duties, and the deputy city manager will be assuming his duties moving forward. I will continue to work my hardest to ensure good leadership at all levels of our city government.”
During the press conference Monday morning, Fox News reported that Boganey had said, “All employees working for the city of Brooklyn Center are entitled to due process with respect to discipline,” and added, “This employee will receive due process and that’s really all that I can say today.”
Asked if he personally believed the officer should be fired, Boganey reiterated, “If I were to answer that question, I’d be contradicting what I said a moment ago — which is to say that all employees are entitled to due process and after that due process, discipline will be determined.”
City council fears riots
Minnesota’s Star Tribune reported that Mayor Elliot’s announcement that Boganey had been fired followed an emergency meeting earlier in the afternoon by the city council, which not only voted to oust Boganey from the position he has held since 2005, but also voted to grant all authority over the city’s police department to the mayor.
The outlet noted that, at least for one of the council members, it was the fear of angry protests and violent riots that had prompted the votes to remove Boganey following his call for “due process,” even though he was well-respected and had been doing a fine job managing the city’s affairs.
The city council and mayor were also reportedly considering firing the city’s police chief, Tim Gannon, though the council and mayor did not do so Monday.
Officer involved resigns
Firing Gannon ultimately proved unnecessary, however, as local CBS affiliate WCCO-TV reported Tuesday that both Gannon and the officer involved in the shooting, identified as 26-year department veteran Kim Potter, tendered their resignations amid the civil unrest that rocked the city, surrounding metro area, and other urban centers nationwide.
Gannon had come under fire from the left and the media for describing the incident as an “accident” as well as for describing the unrest in response to the shooting as a “riot,” much to the dismay of biased reporters.
The police chief also released Potter’s body camera footage less than 24 hours after the incident and it appeared to support his assertion that the incident was indeed an accident, as Potter, during the struggle with Wright, had announced her intent to use a Taser on him, only to instead pull her service weapon and fire a single shot that killed him.