Mike Elliott made history by being the first Black Mayor of Brooklyn Center. His minimal fame has turned into major infamy following his handling of the situation in his streets after the killing of a Black man at the hands of a police officer.
In his efforts to calm the situation, the Mayor went to the streets to talk to some of the protesters. Granted, many of them at the time were busy looting and setting buildings on fire, but he was able to find those who could fit the bill of “peaceful” for his photo op. He posted two pictures on social media to commemorate the occasion, but he forgot one minor detail.
“Earlier this evening I had the opportunity to go talk to these peaceful protesters. I assured them we are working collaboratively with all involved agencies & will get to the bottom of this. Our city is calm now, thank you all who came out to peacefully protest then went home,” he Tweeted.
Unfortunately for the Mayor, all Twitter saw was the helmet. Podcaster Tim Pool said, “He’s wearing a ballistic helmet to talk to peaceful protesters.”
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) April 13, 2021
“Battle Beagle” said. “Dudes got a kevlar helmet like he’s ready to push into Fallujah.”
Dudes got a kevlar helmet like he's ready to push into Fallujah https://t.co/U6ORIXSQug
— Battle Beagle (@HarmlessYardDog) April 13, 2021
Quote Tweet after Quote Tweet followed the same basic theme.
If everything is peaceful why are you wearing a war helmet?! 🤦🏼♀️ https://t.co/73jeErL6gv
— Angélique (@ange1914) April 13, 2021
Peaceful protests require protective headgear? Who knew. https://t.co/S1eMCrg01J
— tina (@clbozz) April 13, 2021
Ballistics helmet for a peaceful protest lol https://t.co/BDRVm6WPRx
— Adam Edwards (@justadamhu) April 13, 2021
So peaceful he needed a helmet. https://t.co/W6maft0F8J
— John Mattress (@john_mattress) April 13, 2021
Let’s go chat with those peaceful folks over there. Hold up, let me get my ballistic helmet on first https://t.co/KGmmfo1OpE
— Mark Conrad (@MarkConrad_) April 13, 2021
Why is he wearing that helmet if he believed they were peaceful protesters? https://t.co/k7cj8Asggb
— YAF MSU (@yaf_msu) April 13, 2021
Always a good idea to wear a military issue kevlar combat helmet when you go talk to 'peaceful protesters'… https://t.co/jSHLQOTq4H
— Frog Capital🌐 (@FrogNews) April 13, 2021
Always remember the basics when engaging with peaceful protestors
1) Pen and Paper (Always important to get good action items!)
2) Megaphone (People need to be heard!)
3) Bulletproof helmet (In case the peaceful protestors start shooting at you or throwing bricks) https://t.co/9FEXJvCUAO
— AntifaWatch (@AntifaWatch2) April 13, 2021
I’ve never talked to anyone I would consider peaceful while wearing a ballistics helmet.
But yeah sure stick to the narrative https://t.co/hlAqkqwEwL
— CNC/DFS (@Homicidal_Apple) April 13, 2021
Always take your ballistic army helmet to a peaceful protest! https://t.co/AThXbfW4Dv
— Equinsu ocha (@ADUK2019) April 13, 2021
Replies to his post weren’t much better.
To be fair, the Liberian-born Mayor has never had to deal with this sort of situation before. With all of the rioting taking place in his city, one wouldn’t expect him to go in public without taking proper precautions. But the helmet doesn’t match his rhetoric which has been very accommodating to the Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters who are trashing his town.
The City Council immediately granted the Mayor new authorities. According to MSN:
Brooklyn Center, Minn., which erupted in protest Sunday as word of 20-year-old Daunte Wright’s death spread, now has a new city manager and — at least temporarily — a new de facto leader of the police department after a city council vote that granted the mayor “command authority” over the agency.
The overhaul is likely to give Mayor Mike Elliott the power to fire the police chief and police officers, one legal expert told The Washington Post.
“At such a tough time, this will streamline things and establish a chain of command and leadership,” Elliott wrote after the motion passed by a 3-to-2 vote. Elliott, who by law serves on the council, and two other members voted in the affirmative.
An hour later, Elliott announced that Brooklyn Center had fired its city manager, Curt Boganey, and replaced him with the city’s deputy manager, Reggie Edwards.
The helmet he’s wearing in the picture appears to be a Legacy PASGT Level IIIA Ballistic Helmet. They retail for around $240. Is this Elliott’s “Michael Dukakis Moment”?
Nothing says “peaceful” like wearing a military grade, level IIIA ballistic helmet to engage with all of those peace-loving activists. At least it’s probably more effective at keeping him safe than a face mask.