Brooklyn Center Mayor Hangs Officers Out To Dry, Doesn't Understand Risks

Brooklyn Center Mayor Hangs Officers Out To Dry, Doesn't Understand Risks
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Being the Brooklyn Center mayor can’t be an easy job right about now. An officer-involved shooting of a black man has spurred on riots in so many cities now that it’s not even funny. Brooklyn Center hasn’t been immune to that, either, as we’ve seen over the last few days.

However, I might cut Mayor Mike Elliot a bit of slack in some areas, but that’s not an excuse to put his foot in his mouth.

That’s precisely what he did, too.


I’m sure the noble mayor will be able to tell us just how officers can determine when weapons will be needed and when they won’t?

See, I ask because I happen to know that making a traffic stop can be one of the most dangerous things a police officer can do. The reason is that they don’t really know who is inside the car. It could be a law-abiding citizen whose foot just got a bit heavy or it could be a triple homicide suspect who is determined he’s not going to prison.

They simply don’t know.

For Elliot to stand there and claim that his city’s officers don’t “necessarily need to have weapons every time they’re making traffic stops” shows that he’s never seen the countless videos out there of officers who made traffic stops only to find themselves engaged in gunfights.

To say such a completely ignorant thing isn’t just putting his officers out to dry, he’s suggesting potential policies that will get officers killed.

It’s popular right now to bash law enforcement. Especially since it does appear that negligence played some kind of a factor in the shooting. But it’s important to remember that it wasn’t the only factor, either.

It’s also important to remember that the answer to this isn’t to talk about disarming police or pretend that there’s some mystical policy change that would make every problem go away.

Law enforcement requires people. People are flawed. They make mistakes. You’re not going to prevent that. All you can do is mitigate it.

From what we can see as of right now, there seems to be little the department or the city could have done to prevent this sort of thing. They mandated Tasers be worn cross-draw to try and prevent this sort of thing, for example. We might learn more later to change this, but until then, we can only go with what we know.

Something else we know, though, is that officers require weapons in all sorts of situations where people like Elliot seem to think they’re not needed.

The problem is, a weapon isn’t needed until the moment it is. You don’t get an email ahead of time letting you know a given traffic stop will turn violent. The bad guys don’t schedule their violence with the police.

You have no need of a weapon until the very moment you do, and Elliot’s comments show just how little he understands that simple, basic fact. He’s putting his officers out to dry and betraying his own ignorance in one fell swoop.

It’s kind of impressive, actually.

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