Frey taps ex-Obama official who called Floyd death a ‘lynching’ to lead new department

Alexander will make between $295,000 to $350,000 if his nomination is confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council.

Cedrick Alexander, Mayor Jacob Frey's nominee for the new public safety commissioner position, speaks at a press conference Thursday. (City of Minneapolis/YouTube)

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has tapped a liberal commentator and ex-Obama official who called George Floyd’s death a “lynching” to become the city’s first community safety commissioner.

Cedric Alexander, MSNBC’s law enforcement analyst who previously served as a police chief in various cities, would oversee the departments of emergency management, 911, police, fire, and violence prevention in this newly created position.

The nomination took place Thursday and is part of Mayor Frey’s efforts to coalesce the five departments under the umbrella of his proposed Office of Community Safety.

Alexander’s written commentary often appears in mainstream outlets like NBC News and CNN. Following the U.S. Capitol breach on Jan. 6, 2021, Alexander criticized former President Donald Trump for playing a role in the “erosion” of police “legitimacy,” even though just a few months prior Alexander failed to criticize the left’s anti-police sentiment and demanded police “reform” in a piece following the death of George Floyd, which he referred to as a “lynching.”

Then in May of this year, Alexander published an op-ed arguing that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is “subject to legislation that defines and regulates its application.”

“We need especially to examine our widespread misunderstanding of freedom as an individual ‘privilege’ rather than a collective right and responsibility,” he wrote. “My right to own a gun must not be purchased with your life, your child’s life or the life of your child’s grandparent.”

Alexander has spent four decades working in the law enforcement profession in various positions, including a stint as the director of public safety for Dekalb County, Georgia. During his tenure, Alexander was accused of sexual harassment by a female police officer, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing, the Minnesota Reformer reported. He has also faced scrutiny over alleged financial conflicts of interest, the outlet said.

At the press conference announcing Alexander’s nomination to lead the new Office of Community Safety, Mayor Frey reiterated his longstanding desire to “restructure” the Minneapolis city government. He called Alexander a “talented” and “exceptional” individual with a “wealth of experience.”

In his own remarks, Alexander said although “George Floyd is still very much a part of our lives,” he would help usher in a more “forward-thinking” approach to bring “change” to Minneapolis public safety.

“This is a wonderfully dynamic city,” he said. “But … I still sense in this community, people who love this community deeply, people who want to see something different, people who want to get back on the streets and ride their bikes and roller skate, regardless of what part of the community they’re in, and feel safe.”

According to Crime Watch Minneapolis, Alexander will make between $295,000 to $350,000 if his nomination is confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council.


Evan Stambaugh

Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.