First Black American Police Chief in Minneapolis Who Led Department During George Floyd Protests to Retire

All things come to an end.

Medaria Arradondo, the first Black police chief in Minneapolis, is retiring in a month after more than 30 years with the department per the story from Newsweek.

Arradondo led the department during the George Floyd protests last year and the Derek Chauvin trial.

According to Newsweek, Arradondo said he would not seek a third term in January. He became the first Black police chief in 2017 after the former chief resigned. It was in the wake of a national controversy when police received a call from a woman who called 911 to report a possible assault behind her home. In the end, she was fatally shot by an officer. The officer who shot her received five years in prison. 

From Newsweek:

“After 32 years of service, 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 news conference.

“This, at the end of the day, is what I feel is best for the department as well as my personal well-being,” he added.

The Minneapolis department has continued to make headlines. A month ago, Minneapolis residents voted against a proposal to replace the police department. Two months ago, body cam footage from the George Floyd protests caught an officer joking about “hunting activists.”

Per Newsweek, the consequences of Floyd’s murder did not factor into his decision to retire. This is hard to believe considering all that’s happened on his watch. Most notably, the encounter four officers from his department had with Floyd, resulting in one officer murdering Floyd by kneeling on his neck. That officer, Chauvin, is now sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.

Could the past year just have been too much for Arradondo? He was at the head of a department that was in the middle of firestorm, including defunding police departments across the country. 

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