Minneapolis police reforms leader hired following George Floyd’s murder retiring after a year

Jul 21, 2023, 12:12 PM

In this April 10, 2014, photo, Deputy Chief Operating Officer Cedric Alexander speaks during a pres...

In this April 10, 2014, photo, Deputy Chief Operating Officer Cedric Alexander speaks during a press conference at DeKalb County Police Department Headquarters in Tucker, Ga. Alexander, the man appointed to oversee reforms at the Minneapolis police department in the wake of George Floyd's killing while in police custody in 2020, plans to retire in September after a rough first year, The Star Tribune reported Thursday, July 21, 2023. (Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

(Hyosub Shin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The law enforcement veteran appointed to oversee reforms at the Minneapolis police department in the wake of George Floyd’s killing plans to retire in September after enduring sharp criticism in his first year on the job.

Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander announced his retirement Thursday, The Star Tribune reported. Alexander defended his work overseeing five public safety agencies, including the police and fire departments, following criticism from some city council members and the public over the slow pace of reforms.

“Whoever takes the torch here from me, they’re on a firm foundation,” Alexander, 68, said to the newspaper. He said people now feel safe when they come into the city.

The Minneapolis Police Department overhaul began following Floyd’s 2020 death after a white police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 1/2 minutes. Floyd’s death sparked mass protests around the world and forced a national reckoning on racial injustice.

Alexander, a former police chief who spent four decades in law enforcement, set out to improve coordination among departments and rebuild trust in the city. He said that work and the effort to implement the Justice Department’s recommendations to improve policing by eliminating racial bias and excessive force will continue after he’s gone.

He said programs like the multijurisdictional “Operation Endeavor” helped reduce shootings and carjackings in the city last year although crime statistics suggest that decline may have begun even before that program started.

Alexander has said he lacked the resources to complete ambitious projects like replacing the city’s five police precincts with community centers offering social services to help fight addiction and homelessness.

In an early misstep, Alexander lashed out on Twitter at critics who questioned his strategy of parking empty squad cars downtown to deter crime — even accusing one person of “two-faced talking from both sides of your mouth.” But he quickly apologized for his tone.

Recently, there was criticism about a lack of communication from Alexander’s office and his lack of public appearances. But he said the criticism wasn’t a factor in his decision to retire.

“That’s just kind of par for the course,” Alexander said, noting that administrators are always admonished for “not moving fast enough.”

Mayor Jacob Frey praised Alexander’s work, saying he successfully coordinated security for a Taylor Swift concert and several community events that brought large crowds to downtown Minneapolis earlier this year without any major problems.

“When Minneapolis needed strong leadership and a clear vision, he answered the call,” Frey said in a statement Thursday. “I am grateful for his dedication to our city and his excellent work to curb violent crime and make a comprehensive safety system a reality.”

Alexander’s supporters say he didn’t have much chance to succeed.

“I think he was the right man for the wrong time and the wrong city,” said Lisa Clemons, a retired police sergeant and founder of the street outreach group A Mother’s Love Initiative. “I don’t believe he was given the tools needed to make change, like the council and mayor gave our chief.”

National News

FILE - President Joe Biden and California Gov. Gavin Newsom wait for reporters to leave the room du...

Associated Press

California governor to name Laphonza Butler, former Kamala Harris adviser, to Feinstein Senate seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom will name Laphonza Butler, a Democratic strategist and adviser to Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign, to fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a spokesman in his office said Sunday. In choosing Butler, Newsom fulfilled his pledge to appoint a Black woman […]

58 minutes ago

Associated Press

Arizona’s biggest city has driest monsoon season since weather service began record-keeping in 1895

PHOENIX (AP) — After a summer of extreme heat, Arizona’s most populous city is in the record books again. This time Phoenix is notching a record for dry heat. The National Weather Service said the monsoon season this year in the arid Southwest dropped only 0.15 inches (.38 centimeters) of rainfall from June 15 to […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

A woman who fled the Maui wildfire on foot has died after weeks in a hospital burn unit

HONOLULU (AP) — A woman who escaped a wildfire that destroyed Hawaii community by running through a burning field has died after spending more than seven weeks in a hospital burn unit. Laurie Allen died Friday at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu, according to a gofundme page set up for her and her husband, Perry […]

8 hours ago

Associated Press

Inmate accused of killing corrections officer at Georgia prison

GLENNVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia prison guard died Sunday after he was attacked by an inmate, state officials said. Correctional officer Robert Clark, 42, died at a hospital after an inmate assaulted him with a homemade weapon at Smith State Prison in rural Glennville, the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a news release. […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Video shows bloodied Black man surrounded by officers during Florida traffic stop

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A traffic stop captured on video by a bystander shows a handcuffed Black man with swollen eyes and a bloody face sitting on the ground surrounded by officers outside a vehicle in northeast Florida, and the officers’ law enforcement agency says it has launched an internal review. Force was used while […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Airbnb guest who rented a room tied up, robbed Georgia homeowner at gunpoint, police say

BUFORD, Ga. (AP) — Police say a man who used Airbnb to rent a room in Georgia ended up robbing the home’s owner at gunpoint. A homeowner in the metro Atlanta suburb of Buford called Gwinnett County police saying an armed man who had rented his basement through the room-sharing app had fled after stealing […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Minneapolis police reforms leader hired following George Floyd’s murder retiring after a year