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Mayor Jacob Frey says police chief Medaria Arradondo should be given chance to fix department

It comes amid moves by the city council for sweeping changes and ultimately the disbanding of the department.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says that the city's police chief Medaria Arradondo should be given the chance to implement major changes to the department in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

The mayor has found himself opposed by a veto-proof majority of city council members who have started a year-long consultation process with the ultimate aim of disbanding the department and replacing it with a new public safety system.

But Frey is in favor of sweeping reform of the department, which has been rife with misconduct and accusations of systemic racism, and thinks the department's first black police chief should be given the opportunity to lead it.

"Minneapolis needs deep, structural police reforms that address systemic racism. Our city also needs a clear roadmap for those reforms, and leadership who are united in purpose and action," Frey said Tuesday evening.

"In the coming days and weeks, I will be working with Chief Arradondo, our city staff, experts, and community members to identify specific changes in city policy, state law, and the police union contract that can move us forward. There is no more reform-oriented police chief in the entire country.

"We should give Chief Arradondo, our city’s first Black police chief, an opportunity to do this work right."

Arradondo retains support even among city councilors who favor disbanding, who acknowledge he has made attempts at change within the department since he was appointed to the role in the wake of Janee Harteau's departure following the fatal shooting of Justine Damond by ex-officer Mohamed Noor.

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But change has been hard to come by, not least because of the power retained by the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, whose president Bob Kroll has been under pressure to resign since Floyd's death.

Arradondo and Kroll have clashed several times as the former tried to change the culture within the department, and increase accountability for misconduct by officers.

The nine councilors who support a total change for public safety and law enforcement in the city say that they believe the department is beyond reform, though their suggestions for an alternative are at an early stage and remain vague right now.

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