(The Center Square) – A day after George Floyd’s burial, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he will withdraw from contract negotiations with the Police Officers’ Federation of Minneapolis and promised transformational reform.
Arradondo said his department will continue protecting the city’s more than 400,000 residents amid nine city council members’ demands to defund his department.
“What our city needs now more than ever is a pathway and a plan that provides hope, reassurance, and actionable measures of reform,” he said.
He said their contract will be restructured to provide for more transparency and flexibility in critical incident protocols, use of force and disciplinary protocols.
“There’s nothing more debilitating … than when you have grounds to terminate an officer for misconduct and you’re dealing with a third-party mechanism that allows for that employee to not only be back on your department but to be patrolling in your communities,” he said.
Another reform would incorporate research and real-time data on officer behavior so leaders can intervene with problem officers.
Arradondo said this plan will take time but that he’s confident “we will have a police department that our communities view as legitimate, trusting, and working with their best interest at heart.”
Floyd died on May 25 after being pinned under the knee of Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer who has since been fired and charged with second-degree murder. Chauvin had 18 prior complaints against him, according to CNN.
Three other officers involved were fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey praised Arradondo’s promise of reform.
“We don’t just need a new contract with the police,” Frey tweeted. “We need a new compact between the people of Minneapolis and the people trusted to protect and serve – and we need to go farther than we ever have in making sweeping structural reform.”
Frey continued: “Additional accountability between the people and the police needs to be matched with internal ability to closely monitor police behavior and intervene early to prevent more tragedy. I applaud the Chief’s courage, continued resolve to challenge the status quo, and clear message for the people of Minneapolis.”