On the eve of former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter's trial, the City Council voted down a measure to enact an emergency curfew after the verdict.
Two council members voted Monday night against the proposal, which required a unanimous vote to pass. Three others voted for the measure.
Some people who spoke before the council questioned whether enacting the curfew before the trial even began would send a signal that the council had already decided how residents would react and that they were expecting the worst.
The proposal called for a citywide curfew from 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. the day the verdict was read.
It would have given the city manager the power to extend the curfew for four additional days if he determined it was needed to protect "public health, safety, or welfare," according to the ordinance.
Mayor Mike Elliott said he ultimately voted against the measure because an emergency curfew should be imposed by an elected official, according to the city's charter. A curfew can be called by the mayor or with an unanimous vote by the council.
"Giving that to a nonelected city administrator I think is not in alignment with the city charter," he said.
Council member Marquita Butler said she thought the council could assess the situation and make a decision about a curfew if and when protests take place.
"I find it interesting in the ordinance that we write that it's an emergency, so we're declaring it is an emergency before the emergency exists," Butler said.
Council Member Dan Ryan said he supported the measure because it was difficult for the mayor to access if a curfew was needed in April following Daunte Wright's death.
"I don't want to see that again because operationally I don't think that was entirely successful … I think that's a situation we should avoid," Ryan said.
Some of the nearly 200 people at the virtual meeting said they supported the ordinance and didn't want to see the looting that happened in April.
"Peaceful protests will only occur if people get the guilty verdict they want," said Jackie Little Graham. "To wait until an emergency or conflict occurs is just too late."
Potter is charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop on April 11. Her attorneys say they plan to argue that she mistook her handgun for her Taser when she shot Wright.
Staff reporter Kim Hyatt contributed to this report.