#Minneapolis police chief breaks off union talks after George Floyd’s death

#Minneapolis police chief breaks off union talks after George Floyd’s death

June 10, 2020 | 1:19pm

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he’s pulling out of contract negotiations with the city’s police union, saying the department needs “transformational” reform and more authority to deal with rogue cops in the wake of George Floyd’s police custody death.

Arradondo said the move is needed to start regaining the trust of the community, acknowledging it’s going to be “a heavy lift,” he said at press conference Wednesday.

“This work must be transformational, but I must do it right,” he said, WHEC-TV reported. “We will have a police department that our communities view as legitimate, trusting, and working with their best interests at heart.”

The chief also said he wants outside analytics firm to come in and maintain “real-time data” to track officers’ performance and help increase department accountability and transparency, and said the existing police contract handcuffs him when dealing with disciplinary actions.

“If there are impediments in the way of union contracts that absolutely makes it difficult when I have to go before community members and explain why an employe who I believe should not be wearing this badge is working back in the community, that’s very problematic for me,” he said. “That also can erode trust.”

Floyd’s death on May 25 while being pinned down by ex-cop Derek Chauvin sparked worldwide protests and violent clashes between Minneapolis police and demonstrators, including the torching of a police precinct on May 28.

Chauvin and the three other officers at the scene were arrested and face murder charges.

Arradondo on Wednesday took responsibility for making the call to have police abandon the Third Precinct stationhouse — a move that drew a sharp rebuke from President Donald Trump.

“That was something that we had not seen, I had never seen in the course of my 30-plus years with this organization,” the chief said.

“I had men and women within that building who, for practical sense, they were surrounded, and if individuals had got inside — and they were outnumbered,” he said. “There’s only a couple of ways that scenario would have ended, and none of them would’ve been good.”

“I did not want to see community members severely injured or worse, and I certainly did jot want to see teh men and women who were this uniform injured or worse,” he said. “I made the call for our teams to get the transport vehicles in there and get our folks out of there as fast as they could.”


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