Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced on Wednesday the immediate withdrawal of his force from contract negotiations with the police union.
The chief said at a press conference on Wednesday that his department’s contract with the Police Officers Federation demanded restructuring to provide the transparency and “flexibility needed for true reform.” A review of the contract would look at issues such as critical incident protocols, use of force and disciplinary protocols, including for grievances and arbitration, he said.
“This is not about officers’ wages, bonuses or salaries,” Arradondo said.
Arradondo’s decision follows the proposal of a package of police reforms put forth by congressional Democrats on Monday and the emotional testimony of George Floyd’s brother regarding the police killing of his brother by Minneapolis police to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
In his view, the ties to a union that allows an officer to be back on the force and patrolling the streets impeded the ability of police chiefs to terminate officers with a record of misconduct.
The police chief also proposed the use of real-time data that could alert supervisors to problematic behavior by officers so that supervisors could intervene more quickly.
The reforms Arradondo announced, symbolize a fresh wave of efforts from officers within his force to transform the relationship between people of color and the police amid global anti-racism and police brutality protests.
Arradondo — a black officer raised in the city he now is charged with protecting — lamented that the issue of race has long plagued the profession of law enforcement.
“Communities of color have paid the heaviest of costs,” Arradondo said, “and that is with their lives.”
In a tweet on Wednesday following Arradondo’s remarks, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, applauded Arradondo’s decision.
Addtl accountability between the people & police needs to be matched with internal ability to closely monitor police behavior & intervene early to prevent more tragedy. I applaud the Chief’s courage, his resolve to challenge the status quo, & clear message for the people of MPLS.
— Mayor Jacob Frey (@MayorFrey) June 10, 2020