Arradondo to retire; both Mpls., St. Paul looking for new chiefs

2021-12-06 15:58:22 –

Medaria Arradondo, who became the first black police chief in Minneapolis in 2017 and led the police station over the worst crisis in 154 years of history, announced his retirement on Monday.

“I have decided not to accept my new term as Minneapolis Police Chief,” Aradondo said at a news conference. “After 32 years of service, we believe MPD is the right time to enable new leadership, new perspectives, new focal points, and new hopes of working with our community to move the department forward. I am confident that we are demonstrating leadership. To carry out this very important task in front of us. “

By resigning, Aradondo was largely in the opinion of the community as he ended his 30-year career in public services, during which time he sought to transform a police station with a long history of racism and disproportionate use of power. For blacks who gained a reputation as a leader with a dependent personality.

But like his predecessor, his tenure will probably be overshadowed by the controversial police killings of unarmed civilians who have cast the department in the harsh international spotlight. In the case of Aradondo, the killing of George Floyd, who was arrested outside a convenience store in May 2020, led to weeks of protests, a police station incineration, and a campaign to replace the MPD with a new public security agency.

Aradondo’s public opposition to the change caused an ethical complaint against him, which is likely to have contributed to the decisive contribution of voters. rejection Of that fix.Still, the defeat of the major I haven’t calmed down the question About the direction of the confused department.

Aradondo said he would resign in mid-January. Timing means that both of Minnesota’s largest cities will lose their police chief within the same calendar year. St. Paul’s chief Todd Axtell announced last month that he would not seek reappointment when his term ends in June.

“When people in our city hear the word public service, they talk about the work he has done thick and thin through some of the most difficult moments that Chief Aradondo and our city have ever experienced. I think we need to think about it, “said Mayor Jacob Frey. He announced a provisional chief within a few days and promised to “promote a national survey.”

The chief did not name the specific people he recommended for the job, but showed confidence in his leadership team to help guide the transition.

Minneapolis police Defeat hundreds of officers Faced with the same period, in the midst of the worst violent crime surge of the generation State and federal surveys It can bring about drastic changes.Department leaders are trying to repair community relationships Tensioned by the deaths of Floyd and others recently killed by police..

Frey wanted to persuade the chief to stay in his next term. Mr. Aradondo said he “keeped in mind” the words of the community elders and the police officers who wanted to persuade him to stay. In the end, he weighed the best interests of the department and the community, but also considered “my own personal well-being.”

The mayor said he knew of Aradondo’s final decision on Monday morning. Before the press conference, the two shook hands with a hug.

Retired Minneapolis police sergeant Lisa Clemmons, a stubborn supporter of Aradondo, said she understood the chief’s decision to move on.

“It’s sad to see him go,” said Clemmons, who was in a group of advisors asking Aradondo to steer. “This is the chief who understands the problem, the chief who is willing to work to change the subject, and I think the attack he received was not appropriate for him.”

“We’re not saying’don’t hold the chief accountable’, but’how can he make a difference and fight at the same time?’Make sure he’s successful. To that end, we should have joined forces with him. “

Anyone who takes over him will face a difficult task. Top police officers must be prepared to deal with increasing gun violence in the community and calls for police reform.

Policy changes

Aradondo has strengthened the department’s tracking policy after high-speed tracking has killed, equipping police with the opioid antidote Nalcan, expanding procedural justice and implicit bias training for officers, and much more. Oversaw change. He also tackled issues such as housing that once seemed out of the office.

Even though the department he led was overwhelmed by public criticism, he remained a popular figure. September Vote found More than half of Minneapolis voters said they were at a disadvantage to the police station. Only 22% expressed a disadvantage to Aradondo.

Frey had I leaned over to the chief During his successful bid. If Aradondo is not on his side, the mayor may find himself under more pressure to push forward with reforms.Although the increase in crime is largely limited Historically deprived areasOpinion polls show that most urban dwellers have expressed anxiety about public security, which is a major issue in elections.

Since Floyd’s death, this division has been involved in several controversies.There was also a question why there weren’t more officers Publicly trained About their actions during civil unrest following Floyd’s murder. NSody camera image He used militaristic tactics during the riots and showed officers discussing “hunting” protesters.And recent development Increased the chances of resuming the case To the police officers involved in the 2013 shooting death of Terans Franklin.

Long career

Aradondo has been regarded by some leaders of the black community as the silver lining of the MPD.

Growing up on the south side of the city, Aradondo was attracted to law enforcement agencies, especially police, when he was a teenager.

After a temporary move to Michigan for college, he returned to his hometown in 1989 to work at MPD, joining a time when there were few black faces on roll calls. Over the years, he spent time in murder and internal affairs units, rising ranks and serving as a spokesperson for the department.

Like other non-white police officers, Aradondo endured his share of discrimination and harassment. He and four other policemen sued the department for racism and said they were frequently handed over for promotion in favor of unqualified white colleagues. They finally solved the problem for $ 185,000.

When the then Mayor of Betsy Hodges announced Aradondo takes over Janie Artaud as chief, It was the latest chapter of his unlikely rise. He has been demoted many times. Supporters say Rondo likes to be called, so he intervenes to calm the situation before it boils. They point out that they appeared on the TV show “COPS” in the early 1990s. While responding to the distress signal, he stopped to help an elderly woman across the street.

His first serious leadership test took place about 10 months after his tenure, killing a black man, Sirman Brevins, who was shot by a police officer in a Northside alley after chasing his foot. ..Aradondo Arrived To interact with the distraught spectators, many of them filmed the interactions while Blevins’ body was still lying on the ground. He listened to their concerns and urged witnesses to speak to investigators.

Police said the man was armed at the time, but Blevins’ family and some activists claimed that police officers unnecessarily escalated the encounter.

Aradondo has participated in barbecue and basketball games all over the city and continues to be seen as chief.he Speak with unusual dullness About the historical abuse of racial minorities by the police. He also gained the reputation of being a leader with sympathetic ears who met his critics on a regular basis.

He said in a forum in 2019 that his philosophy is “public security is not only crime-free, but justice.” He then said he sat at the table in his kitchen and wrote 12 points he believed would help change the culture of the department after being asked to take over the department.

As part of that change, he formed a senior leadership team of executives he had never worked with before, thinking that their strengths would make up for his weaknesses.

After Hodges was banished to Frey, Aradondo served as the mayor’s chief adviser during some of the most difficult moments of his first term. ..

Proponents of the chief responded to public criticism, such as when he stopped practicing masked marijuana puncture wounds after reports by elected lawyers found that almost all arrests were black. I admire him for moving quickly. Aladondo said he understood anger but defended the practice, and more importantly, how some young black men would modify the social conditions that would lead to selling drugs in the first place. Stated.

He immediately moved to p when a pair of Northside policemen decorated the Christmas tree in the precincts with racist ornaments.Unify officers And his boss.

He also continued the Harteau-era initiative on procedural justice and the dignity of life.

Like other progressive police chiefs across the country, he was cut off his work for him, observers say. Often, after a prominent episode of police violence, a long-growing line of reform-minded chiefs was resigned or fired. Black chiefs in Seattle and Atlanta have recently resigned, and Baltimore has been on the fifth committee since Freddie Gray died in police detention in 2015.

Floyd’s death was Aradondo’s greatest test.

He was praised Dismiss four policemen involved in Floyd’s death After watching the encounter video and discussing with the community leader.

In an interview with BCA and FBI agents, Aradondo showed an “emotional reaction” when he watched a video of a bystander and heard Floyd. It was a cry for a rally of police reform activists.

If anything, Floyd’s case was even worse, he said. Because Garner seemed to resist the arrest, a Minneapolis video showed that even though Floyd was prone and covered his hands with a cuff, police officers continued to exert force.

Some activists pushing for police reform jumped at what they saw that Aradondo was unable to curb overly aggressive tactics.

After Floyd’s death, Minneapolis police repeatedly used military force against nonviolent protesters, injuring some protesters and paying the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal settlements.Some people say Use of tear gas and rubber bullets for people protesting Floyd’s death This shows that the culture of the department has hardly changed.

A familiar pattern of questioning the leadership abilities of black men in power positions when the problem is a decades-old culture within the power base of Aradondo, especially the traditional blacks. I saw criticism as part of.

Aradondo visited the place where Floyd was killed. He spoke directly to Floyd’s family. He cooperated with the state’s investigation into the practices of his sector and promised to make “substantial policy changes.”

Aradondo remained popular, but interviews with officers revealed the departments at stake. Police Officer Beat complained about the lack of support and confusion regarding the new rules of use of power. It has led to some internal backlash, including slowdowns in work and accusations of “blue flu.” A few months ago, on the day shift in District 4, only four policemen were working on the street.

In a department-wide email sent shortly before the public press conference, Aradondo praised the sworn and civilians who continued to appear in the community in these difficult situations, and he was among their ranks. He described his service as “blessed.”

According to an email obtained by Star Tribune, “Thank you words cannot correctly convey the immense gratitude and respect I have for you and your service, especially for the past 18 months. Please be proud of me. ” “Be proud to know that you have chosen one of the most prestigious and noble professions that exist …. When historians look back on this time, you make a positive difference to our community. Be proud to have chosen to be seen and counted for. “

Arradondo to retire; both Mpls., St. Paul looking for new chiefs Source link Arradondo to retire; both Mpls., St. Paul looking for new chiefs

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