MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to confirm that seven officers have left the department since May 25, the day George Floyd died in police custody.
The chief said there have been a total of 19 separations year-to-date. The Minneapolis Police Department averages 40 separations per year.
Arradondo started the news conference with a plea for the public to not interfere with officers who are trying to do their lawful jobs. The chief cited recent incidents of officers having bottles and rocks thrown at them while trying to administer naloxone to an overdose patient, and police and EMS being interfered with while trying to perform other lifesaving measures.
“While I understand that many in our community are experiencing grief, pain and frustration, officers have recently experienced situations that have become problematic,” he said. "As we continue to work with our communities to enact deep reforms within the Minneapolis Police Department, I'm also asking the community to not impede on officers while they are performing their lawful duties. It simply isn't right, and it makes it difficult for those in our communities who need it most."
"These men and women - both sworn and civilian - have gone through something in the last three weeks we've never experienced in the 152 year history of the Minneapolis Police Department. To say they and their families have not experienced angst, frustration, uncertainty, and stress would be a disservice to their feelings," Chief Arradondo added.
Arradondo said the department's current 30-person class of recruits is still on track to become officers.
"And they told me because now is the time," he said. "Now is the time they want to serve. They want to be a part of history and be a part of this new MPD w'ere going to create."
Arrandondo said he can't say if any more officers are in the process of leaving the department currently.