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Minneapolis Mayor Reprimanded Police Chief Over Press Conference On Ballot Initiative

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey wrote the city’s former police chief Medaria Arradondo a formal letter of reprimand for his press conference last October on the controversial ballot question over the future of the city’s police department.

City documents show the mayor penned the formal reprimand on Dec. 20, two weeks after Arradondo announced that he wouldn’t seek a third term as chief and nearly two months after he held the press conference where he stated, while in uniform, his position on the ballot question.

In the letter, Frey wrote that the former chief violated police policy and the city’s ethics rules by using city logos and media for political purposes.

Arradondo held the press conference on Oct. 27 and addressed city residents using the Minneapolis Police Department’s Facebook Live feed. When the former chief spoke, he was in full police uniform and stood before a background of police and city logos.

While he said that he was trying to keep the department as apolitical as possible, Arradondo stated: “As your chief of police, I would not be in favor of this ballot amendment.”

The ballot amendment was put to voters in the November election following activists’ months-long push for systemic reform in the wake of George Floyd’s murder under the knee of a former city officer. The amendment failed. If passed, it would have replaced the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety.

In the immediate aftermath of Arradondo’s press conference, then Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender filed a complaint against the police chief and the mayor, who oversees the police department.

At the time, Frey said that the chief spoke out on his own and that Bender’s inclusion of him in the complaint was a “political stunt on her way out the door.” Bender did not seek re-election in November.

Other complaints were also submitted to the city’s ethics board. Earlier this week, the board dismissed at least one of the complaints.

Although the ballot initiative failed, Arradondo announced last month that he was not seeking another term as chief. He retired two weeks ago. The department is currently searching for his replacement.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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