Minneapolis’ First Black Police Chief Will Retire In January

Medaria Arrandondo served as chief when George Floyd died in police custody.

After 32 years of serving on the force, the city of Minneapolis’ first Black police chief, Medaria Arradondo, will retire in January.

According to CBS Minnesota, Arrrando will not be returning to a third term in office. He took up the role in 2017.

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“I believe that now is the right time to allow for new leadership, new perspective, new focus and new hope to lead the department forward in collaboration with our communities,” Arradondo said at a Monday (Dec. 6) press conference. “This, at the end of the day, is what I feel is best for the department as well as my personal well-being.”

Arradondo, 54, held his second term in the middle of the tragic death of 46-year-old George Floyd, at the hands of former officer, Derek Chauvin. Since then, Chauvin has been convicted and sentenced to over 20 years in prison. The Minneapolis Police Department faced severe scrutiny following Floyd’s death.

Demands to reform and even defund the police rose to a fever pitch following Floyd’s killing, including a ballot initiative to replace the police department with a reimagined public safety department, which failed in the November election.

“The impact of Mr. Floyd’s killing certainly will stay with me, forever. However, that did not render into my decision at this point,” Arrandondo said. He emphasized that it was just time to step away after over three decades of service.

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey quickly got to work on finding an interim chief. On Tuesday (Dec. 7), Frey named Amelia Huffman as chief who will take over Arrandondo’s position in mid-January. Huffman joined MPD in 1994, serving in the Third and Fourth precinct before becoming an investigator. A national search for a long-term chief is still underway. Arradondo is helping Frey with the search.

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The city of Minneapolis is experiencing growing numbers in violent crimes. In October, Arrandondo requested $27 million in additional funding to help rebuild important services for the police department.

In November, MPD announced their intent to hire 40 full-time recruits and 50 experienced officers, to better deal with the rise in crime. A new commission was named by Frey to address the crime issues, with Arradondo as one of the members.

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