Contact: Jana Kooren, email@example.com, 651-529-1693 or 651-485-5925 (cell)
St. Paul, Minn –Teresa Nelson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, issued the following statement in response to the appointment of Medaria Arradondo as the new Chief of Police for the Minneapolis Police Department. He is replacing Chief Janée Harteau who was forced to resign after Justine Damond was killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohammad Noor.
Minneapolis' new interim police chief, Medaria (Rondo) Arradondo, is taking over as chief at a critical time. The department has long struggled with overuse of force, exemplified by the recent shootings of Justine Damond and Jamar Clark, and racial disparities in stops, arrests, and other police work that have caused tensions between communities of color and the police. It is crucial that Arrandondo take swift and immediate action within the Minneapolis Police Department to make the largescale changes needed to build a department that is just, responsive, and truly values the lives it is sworn to serve and protect.
Although during Chief Harteau’s tenure important steps were taken to push the department in a better direction, there is still much work that needs to be done.
Immediate action should be taken to:
- Increase oversight and accountability for officers who violate the department’s use of force policies. Support reforms to ensure the Police Conduct Oversight Commission has the authority to discipline and fire officers as needed.
- Retrain the entire department on use of force.
- Increase training on de-escalation.
- Implement a new body camera policy that mandates activation at the beginning of every interaction with members of the public.
- Include clear, significant discipline for officers who violate the body camera policy.
- Stop prioritizing low-level arrests.
- Increase the department’s accountability by releasing all data on stops and arrests to the public.
- Fully implement the recommendations found in the Police Executive Research Forum’s 30 guiding principles on the use of force and the final report of President Obama’s task force on 21st century policing.
We wish former Chief Janée Harteau well as she exits the Minneapolis Police Department.
The ACLU-MN is a non-profit organization that works to defend the civil liberties of all Minnesotans. Learn more at www.aclu-mn.org.