Minneapolis Police Chief: I Will Not Abandon My Obligation to Protect
Minneapolis city council leaders appear dead set on giving social scientists a control group to see what a city without police would look like. A veto proof majority of the city council recently announced their intent to “disband and defund” the police department, and the council’s president says she envisions a “police free society.” That comment came after she described wanting to call the police “white privilege.”
Minneapolis’ black police chief Medaria Arradondo is pushing back against the insanity, calling for reforms at a press conference today while reaffirming that he will not abandon his obligation to protect Minneapolis’ residents. “As chief, I am obligated to ensuring the public safety of our 400,000 plus residents,” Arradondo said. “I will not abandon that. Our elected officials certainly can certainly engage in those conversations, but until there is a robust plan that reassures the safety of our residents, I will not leave them. I will not leave them behind.”
As local network WILX 10 reports:
The Minneapolis Police Department will withdraw from police union contract negotiations,Arradondo said Wednesday as he announced the first steps in what he said would be transformational reforms to the agency in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Arradondo said a thorough review of the contract is planned. He said the contract needs to be restructured to provide more transparency and flexibility for true reform. The review would look at matters such as critical incident protocols, use of force, and disciplinary protocols, including grievances and arbitration.
He said it’s debilitating for a chief when an officer does something that is grounds for termination, but the union works to keep that person on the job, and on the street.
Arradondo also vowed to use new systems and “real-time data” that would examine officer performance data to quickly spot problem officers and intervene. He said an outside analytics firm would be used to track the data.
While I jokingly referred to what Minneapolis leaders wants as an experiment, we actually already know exactly what would happen in the absence of police.
As the psychologist Steven Pinker writes in his book “The Blank Slate” of Montreal’s wildcat police strike: “I laughed off my parents’ argument that if the government ever laid down its arms all hell would break loose. Our competing predictions were put to the test at 8:00 a.m. on October 7, 1969, when the Montreal police went on strike. By 11:20 am, the first bank was robbed. By noon, most of the downtown stores were closed because of looting. Within a few more hours, taxi drivers burned down the garage of a limousine service that competed with them for airport customers, a rooftop sniper killed a provincial police officer, rioters broke into several hotels and restaurants, and a doctor slew a burglar in his suburban home. By the end of the day, six banks had been robbed, a hundred shops had been looted, twelve fires had been set, forty carloads of storefront glass had been broken, and three million dollars in property damage had been inflicted, before city authorities had to call in the army and, of course, the Mounties to restore order. This decisive empirical test left my politics in tatters (and offered a foretaste of life as a scientist).”
And all that could be coming soon to Minneapolis.