The shooting of Justine Damond by a Somali-American police officer with three complaints and a lawsuit against him in two years has taken an interesting political turn. The left-wing community activists are pushing for more of the Obama 21st century policing as a remedy.
A new police chief has been selected by the mayor and his background includes internal affairs.
The job demands someone “who holds officers accountable, that is a strong communicator and works well with civilian leadership, who is responsive and accessible,” said Council Member Andrew Johnson, the Star Tribune reported.
Mayor Betsy Hodges, who faces a potentially big loss in her re-election bid, has picked Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo, a 28-year veteran of the force from a fifth generation African-American Minnesota family, to help lead the police force and make the case that she’s committed to reforming the department.
The appointment requires the approval of the City Council’s Executive Committee, but the union chief is on board and says the men like him.
More Obama policing
Arradondo is expected to continue Obama’s goals of transforming the department into the 21st-century police force that was started by the former chief f Janeé Harteau, who introduced body cameras and mandated implicit-bias and procedural justice training for all officers.
Hiring people like Mohamed Noor was part of the new policing.
Harteau instituted new use of force policies in the department which Mohamed Noor didn’t appear to utilize when he shot Justine Damond. Minneapolis police officers are trained to exhaust all reasonable means in defusing potentially violent encounters before resorting to force.
As part of the training, officers have to consider what factors may contribute to a lack of compliance, such as language barriers, drug and alcohol use, or a mental crisis. The policy also urges officers to announce their intent to use force before actually doing so. The premise is to always de-escalate.
A quality assurance commander oversees it.
The ACLU likes it.
The former Minneapolis police Sgt. Jeffrey Jindra, who spent 10 years training officers, said the objectives may be out of touch with reality. He might have been accurate because since then, the crime rate has risen by 16 percent. Police are staying away from situations that will get them in trouble and are avoiding proactive policing.
About “Rondo’s” appointment, a University of Minnesota political analyst, Larry Jacobs, said, “It’s got good optics, but we’re still a long way from the election. It’s not entirely clear that this is going to be credited to Betsy Hodges and lead to the lessening of the intense animosity Betsy has been receiving from some progressives and voters in communities of color.”
Arrodondo is an internal affairs investigator and once sued the city
Arradondo signed on as a patrol officer in 1989. Arradondo started out as a school resource officer. He worked his way up the ranks investigating alleged officer misconduct for Internal Affairs, before leading the 1st Precinct in downtown Minneapolis as an Inspector. He became a prominent peacemaker during demonstrations following the shooting of Jamar Clark by an officer.
In 2007, he was part of a group known as the Mill City Five. The group of African American officers sued the city alleging a culture of racial discrimination and retaliation. They won a six-figure settlement.
The activists in the community say police are too violent and they talk of transformational change to stop it.
“This nomination is a cosmetic change, we want institutional change,” said activist Mel Reeves, referring to Arradondo’s race which was one of the factor’s in his hiring. He will be their first black police chief.
None of this helped Justine Damond, the meditation instructor. There was no de-escalation and the cameras were turned off.