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“It was never done in the context of suffocating my dreams or taking away hope.” Arradondo has often spoken publicly about law enforcement having to come to terms with its historical mistreatment of minority communities.

To move forward, he said, police departments must acknowledge their roles in past injustices.

Are people still not going to be picked up for petty crimes that they wouldn’t be picked up for in Edina?

Maybe, maybe not.” That it has taken Minneapolis so long to appoint a black chief is mystifying to Ron Edwards, a civil rights activist who has frequently been a vocal critic of the lack of diversity in the department’s ranks.

The seminar helped teens gain in depth knowledge and skills to develop healthy relationships, prevent dating violence and support stronger communities.

These student leaders will now be able to bring the skills learned back to their school and continue to make a difference in their lives and the lives of their peers, families and communities.

“I was aware of my race and I was aware that as a black man I would at times be looked upon differently by society,” he said. How his father would, while visiting relatives in Oklahoma, sit in the balcony of the movie theater so that he wouldn’t get spit on by whites.

Overall, the percentage of minority officers on the force has hovered around 26 percent the past two years, compared to 16.5 percent in 2003. In 2007, Arradondo and four other black police officers sued the city and then-Chief Tim Dolan, alleging an entrenched culture of discrimination in which African-Americans were routinely passed over for promotion or given less favorable assignments.

The city settled with the officers two years later for 0,000.

Even then, Arradondo, who was starting a job as a campus police officer at a local college, understood what he meant.

“He’s trying to say all of these words, but what he’s really saying is you’re an African-American who is embarking upon a profession and who’s about to wear a uniform that this community has never seen before,” said Arradondo.

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