Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo serves final day in office

police chief speaks at podium with mayor behind him
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announces his retirement plans at a press conference on Dec. 6.
Tim Evans for MPR News file

Minneapolis' first Black police chief served his last day in office on Saturday.

Medaria Arradondo, 54, who announced last month he was retiring, had a variety of positions with the department for 30 years. He started as a patrol officer in north Minneapolis in 1989 before becoming an inspector of the first precinct in 2013. He was promoted to chief in 2017.

Arradondo was unavailable for comment on his last day in office. An official for the department said he wanted to go out quietly.

In proclaiming Saturday as Medaria Arradondo Day, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the chief has “embodied decency, community, and courage in his historic tenure” and “has been unabashed in his commitment to truth, justice and transparency.”

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Arradondo was named to take over the department following the firing of his predecessor for her handling of the fatal police shooting of Justine Ruszczyk, who had called 911 to report hearing a possible sexual assault near her home.

Arradondo was one of five high-ranking Black officers to sue the department for discrimination in 2007. They settled for $185,000.

The proclamation said Arradondo leaves a legacy of tirelessly advocating for the Black community and civil rights.

“Chief Medaria Arradondo has helped shoulder some of the heaviest moments in our city’s history, showing up in his childhood community to be present with mourners at 38th and Chicago in the days following the murder of George Floyd,” the document said.

Frey appointed deputy chief Amelia Huffman to serve as the city’s interim police chief, amid a nationwide search for a permanent chief.