The Minneapolis boss urges voters to refuse to replace the PD

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called on voters to reject a ballot paper issue that would replace the city’s …

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo called on voters to reject a ballot paper question that would replace the city’s police department, saying it would do nothing to address the issues uncovered with George Floyd’s death last year.

Voters will on Tuesday decide whether to approve a new public safety unit that will take “a more comprehensive public health approach” to police work. The issue of the ballot paper would also drop a required minimum number of police officers and give city councilors more oversight of the police.

Opponents have said the proposal is vague, with no specific plan for the replacement, and Arradondo raised the issue in his remarks Wednesday.

“Voting for a measure to restore public security without a solid plan and an implementation or direction of work – it’s too critical for a time to want and hope for the help we so desperately need right now, “he told reporters. “I did not expect some kind of robust, detailed word-for-word plan, but at this point I would honestly take a drawing on a napkin, and I have not seen it either.”

Arradondo, usually a reserved and reverent chief, was animated and struck the podium at one point in his remarks. He described the city as “flatlining”, referring to the department’s deficit of nearly 300 officers, or about a third of its authorized 888 sworn officers – with much of the wear and tear due to retirements, resignations and disability leave for post-traumatic stress disorder unrest after Floyd’s death .

He said he was not sure what the ballot question would do, but he said he was sure it would not prevent police from having dangerous interactions with citizens, would not help with recruitment and retention and would not suddenly change a police culture that critics say is. brutal. He also expressed concern over the language of the ballot paper issue, which describes the new department as including police officers “if necessary.”

The chief, along with Mayor Jacob Frey, has announced several policy changes during their tenure in an effort to reform the department, which includes increased compliance with body cameras among officers and bans on “warrior-style” training, strangulation stops and pretext stops for low-level offenses.

Arradondo’s position was criticized by Yes 4 Minneapolis, the political committee that drafted the proposal.

“Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, campaigning in uniform, in stark contrast to the policy he himself wrote last year, is one of many examples unveiled at his press conference today, which is why structural change is imperative to keep the population in Minneapolis secure and to implement a responsible and transparent relationship with those called to protect and serve, ”said Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign manager Corenia Smith.

Arradondo first broke his silence on the ballot issue in late August when he said giving city councilors more authority over the department would bury it under layers of bureaucracy and put the department’s new leader in a “completely unbearable position.” He renewed the criticism on Wednesday, saying: “I want to tell you that you have to have 14 bosses, this is not a business model we would give children running a lemonade stand.”

Opponents have warned that Arradondo, the city’s popular black chief, could leave if the ballot question goes through. Arradondo avoided questions about it Wednesday, saying he has not had conversations with his family or Frey about his future.

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Mohamed Ibrahim is a corps member of the Associated Press / Report for the America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercover topics.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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