Updated: May 05, 2021 09:47 PM
Created: May 05, 2021 06:23 PM
The acting president of the union representing police in Brooklyn Center wrote an open letter to the community following the death of Daunte Wright.
"I wanted the residents of Brooklyn Center to know, as police officers that I am the leader of, this part of the union, that we are devastated by what happened to Daunte Wright, and we are devastated by what happened to Kim Potter," Chuck Valleau, a detective with the Brooklyn Center Police Department, said in the letter.
In the letter he recognizes and respects the right to openly protest, and said, "Many of the protestors we come into contact with are mindful people with gracious hearts."
In the letter, however, Valleau claims some protesters used racial slurs towards officers of color.
"We have a large percentage of our police department is Black and brown police officers, and it's hard for us to stand by and hear as other minorities are leveling racial slurs at those officers," he said. "They have a lot of responsibility already putting on a uniform and it's hard for us to stand back, and it worries me."
He also said he is worried that Brooklyn Center will have issues retaining and recruiting officers.
Valleau said the union plans to work to strengthen the bond between the community and law enforcement.
"I hope that the community and residents know that we're open to dialogue, we're open to conversations, we want to do everything that we can do to have stronger relationships with the community," he said.
Valleau said the community is hurting and officers are hurting but he is hopeful.
"It's very difficult to explain how hard it is to be human and to listen to some of the destructive things being said, not because it hurts our pride or ego but because it just hurts our feelings. It hurts to have people honestly question, why are you doing law enforcement, and what are you trying to accomplish out there, when really, we're all trying to work to help people and save them all and to do better and have good relationships," he said.
Copyright 2021 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company