Get to Know: Acting Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo

July 24, 2017 04:44 PM

Medaria Arradondo has been the face of the Minneapolis police force since the shooting death of Justine Damond.

He stood by Mayor Betsy Hodges as she answered questions about the circumstances surrounding the officer-involved shooting. Arradondo answered questions himself after prefacing, "I will discuss things that pertain to the public safety part of this."


Within days of that press conference Tuesday, Arradondo went from second-in-command of the state's largest police force to the top job. 

The newly-named acting police chief goes by a nickname: Rondo. The 28-year veteran of the department is from Minneapolis, having started his career on the north side. He lives in Minneapolis, has raised his family there, and is poised to become the city's first black Police Chief and lead 850-plus officers.

"We in Minneapolis will have each other's backs," Arraddondo said in a previous statement.

Hodges recommended Arradondo because of his resume and reputation. The department shakeup comes at a tense time, as citywide crime is up 16 percent over 2016 and the police-public relationship is strained.

In the wake of the Damond homicide and previous officer-involved shootings, officers have been criticized as being too quick to use deadly force.

"This nomination is a cosmetic change, we want institutional change," said activist Mel Reeves.

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.  

Timeline of Fatal Southwest Minneapolis Shooting

Arradondo eventually became chief of staff to the boss he's been nominated to replace, Janee Harteau.

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.  

A decade later, Arradondo is now in a position to lead the department. 


Beth McDonough

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