The Minneapolis City Council in a near-unanimous vote Friday approved a resolution calling on law enforcement to stop using tear gas, rubber bullets and other nonlethal munitions during protests, according to reports.
The 11-1 vote came on the sixth straight night of protests in nearby Brooklyn Center, where Daunte Wright, 20, was fatally shot during a traffic stop on Sunday.Minneapolis was also bracing for potential unrest when the Derek Chauvin murder trial concludes. The former Minneapolis police officer is accused in the police-custody death of George Floyd.
Council Member Jeremiah Ellison claimed Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and police have condoned “indiscriminate assaults, gassing, and arrests of protesters” just to protect a police station, FOX 9 of Minneapolis reported.
Ellison added that he didn’t believe munitions are useful in dispersing protesters.
“They’ve always sort of bubbled into more chaotic situations and they’ve always created the atmosphere for folks to be … enraged,” he said, according to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.
Police and National Guard personnel deployed to Brooklyn Center used tear gas and nonlethal munitions to keep protesters from overrunning the city’s police headquarters this week, FOX 9 reported.
Minneapolis police Chief Medaria Arradondo called the council’s resolution “unhelpful and uninformed.”
“But it also emboldens those individuals who … are here to strike harm and chaos and destroy our city,” Arradondo said.
The resolution doesn’t actually affect law enforcement’s ability to use tear gas and munitions, according to the Star Tribune.
Council President Lisa Bender called the vote “a statement of the values of the City Council.”
Council Member Linea Palmisano, the only no vote, said she feared law enforcement changing its tactics in the midst of the protests when officers are already trained on current protocol would be a “failure of leadership.”
Meanwhile, a federal judge in Minnesota issued a restraining order Friday prohibiting police from arresting or using force against journalists during protests.