Minneapolis police chief ends negotiations with police union in a bid for reform
Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo announced on Wednesday that he would withdraw from contract negotiations with the Armed Forces Police Union to advance reform in the face of criticism of the police's assassination of George Floyd.
The move takes place amid increased awareness of the role police unions sometimes play in suppressing reform efforts aimed at combating police brutality.
"I plan to bring in expertise and consultants to carry out a thorough review of how the contract can be restructured to ensure greater transparency in the community and more flexibility for real reform," said Arradondo at a press conference in Minneapolis and expressed the wish to check the department's disciplinary procedures and application of violence guidelines.
Arradondo also said the department would set up systems that would allow leaders to recognize early warning of police misconduct.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, supported Arradondo's decision to withdraw from the negotiations.
"He is the right person to lead our department through a major cultural change and to restructure the conditions for our police operations in Minneapolis," said Frey. "Chef Arradondo's decision to withdraw from the union contract negotiations is the right one. It shows courage, it shows integrity and he has my full support."
The chief's announcement followed nationwide calls for an end to the racial injustice in policing triggered by the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed by a police officer in Minneapolis.
On Sunday, the Minneapolis City Council announced a veto-safe majority of its members who would vote to dismantle the city's police department. However, Arradondo promised that the department would continue to ensure the safety of city residents until another system was in place.
"Our elected officials can certainly take part in these talks, but I won't leave them until there is a solid plan that will ensure the safety of our residents," said Arradondo.
Arradondo, who became the department's first African-American director in 2017, said the breed was "inextricably linked to the American police system".
“We will never develop further in this profession unless we address it directly. Color communities have paid the highest cost, and that's linked to their lives, ”said Arradondo. "And our children must be protected from ever having to contribute to the terrible and shameful chapter in the history of this country."
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