“After much personal reflection and thoughtful discussions with my family and Mayor Frey, I have made the decision that I will not be accepting a new term as chief of the Minneapolis Police Department,” Arradondo said.
He was the city’s first Black police chief, appointed in 2017.
Arradondo said Monday his decision to retire was based on time and not Floyd’s murder.
“The impacts of Mr. [George] Floyd’s killing certainly will stay with me forever, but that did not render to my decision at this point,” Arradondo said. “My decision at this point, quite frankly … was just that it’s time. Thirty-two years of being able to give back to a city that I was born and raised is a blessing.”
Chief called Floyd’s death ‘gut-wrenching’
Video of the incident that led to Floyd’s death showed former officer Derek Chauvin impassively kneeling on the 46-year-old Black man’s neck and back while he was handcuffed and lying prone in the street for more than nine minutes, gasping for air and telling Minneapolis officers, “I can’t breathe.”
“I looked them in the eye and I said, ‘I’m sorry’ and said ‘their brother’s death is not in vain,'” he said. “The grace and the love that they showed, they hugged me and we hugged.”
“Once Mr. Floyd had stopped resisting, and certainly once he was in distress and trying to verbalize that, that should have stopped,” Arradondo testified.
Chief and mayor announce key changes to policing
Mayor Jacob Frey on Monday thanked Arradondo for his service.
“Throughout his time within the MPD, he’s been unabashed about his commitment to truth, to transparency, and to justice,” the mayor said.
Frey said he would announce an interim chief in the coming days.
Arrandondo, who grew up in Minneapolis, said he’s “been blessed beyond measure to have served the people of this truly wonderful city.”
“After 32 years of service, I believe that now is the right time to allow for new leadership, new perspective, new focus, and new hope to lead the department forward in collaboration with our communities,” the chief said.