MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo on Wednesday urged voters to reject a ballot question that would replace the city’s police department, saying it would do nothing to address the issues laid bare with the death last year of George Floyd.
Voters will decide Tuesday whether to approve a new public safety unit that would take “a more comprehensive public health approach” to policing. The ballot question would also drop a required minimum number of police officers and give City Council members more oversight of police.
Opponents have said the proposal is vague, with no specific plan for the replacement, and Arradondo took up the theme in his remarks.
He said he wasn’t sure what the ballot question would do, but he said he was sure it would not stop police having dangerous interactions with citizens, would not help recruiting and retention and wouldn’t suddenly change a police culture that critics say is brutal.
Opponents have warned that Arradondo, the city’s popular Black chief, could leave if the ballot question passes. Arradondo sidestepped questions about that on Wednesday, saying he hasn’t had conversations with his family or Mayor Jacob Frey about his future.
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