Video: MPR News travels to Newark to ask about Minneapolis police chief nominee

MPR News traveled to Newark recently to talk with people who worked with O'Hara about his job performance and qualifications.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

MPR News reporter Nina Moini traveled to Newark, N.J. to speak with residents about Brian O’Hara, who was recently nominated to lead the Minneapolis Police Department.

“Minneapolis has been asking for change and Brian O’Hara has answered that call,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who announced his nomination of O’Hara on Sept. 29. The nomination must be confirmed by the City Council.

O’Hara’s work in Newark including handling a consent decree after a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the Newark Police Department.

The consent degree required the department to undergo a series of 16 reforms and train officers on new policies across many areas, including use of force, body-worn cameras and community policing.

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Currently, the U.S. Justice Department is investigating the Minneapolis Police Department after the murder of George Floyd. The city is still waiting for those findings and then may negotiate its own consent decree.

O’Hara said that his “life’s work” has prepared him to turn around the Minneapolis Police Department.

“All people have a right to feel safe,” O’Hara said. “It should not matter what neighborhood you live in.”

He asked critics of the Minneapolis Police Department to give him a chance at making needed changes.

The mayor's office is hoping the new chief will be confirmed by early November.