Minneapolis council approves changemaker as new police chief

Nov 3, 2022, 10:22 AM | Updated: 10:41 am

Brian O'Hara, left, was congratulated by Mayor Jacob Frey, in the City Hall, Council chambers in Mi...

Brian O'Hara, left, was congratulated by Mayor Jacob Frey, in the City Hall, Council chambers in Minneapolis on Thursday Nov 3, 2022. O'Hara, deputy mayor of Newark, was introduced as Mayor Jacob Frey's top pick Thursday. If confirmed by the City Council, O'Hara will lead the department through changes expected to be ordered as the result of an ongoing Department of Justice investigation launched after the police killing of George Floyd. (Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)

(Jerry Holt /Star Tribune via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a former public safety director from New Jersey to take over the city’s police department, as it struggles with depleted staffing and the uncertainty of an ongoing federal investigation following the killing of George Floyd.

Brian O’Hara, deputy mayor of Newark, will start serving as Minneapolis’ police chief Monday.

“Everyone is hungry for change in this city. I’m not here to maintain the status quo,” he told reporters after the council vote.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey nominated O’Hara to lead the police department in September and said Thursday that the city needs someone like O’Hara right now.

“This moment matters,” Frey said. “The act of stepping up for this job – at this time – is an act of courage.”

Minneapolis has been at the center of calls for changes in policing since the May 2020 killing of Floyd, whose death under an officer’s knee led to nationwide demands for racial justice and an end to police brutality. Calls to abolish the department or dismantle and replace it with a new department of public safety were rejected by voters in the city last year.

The city is also under a federal investigation into its policing practices, and it is expected that court-enforced changes will be ordered through a consent decree. The city is currently working with the state Department of Human Rights on a similar process, after an investigation by that agency found the department has engaged in a pattern of race discrimination for at least a decade.

O’Hara has overseen such change before, after the Department of Justice found that the Newark Police Department had engaged in a pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing. From 2017 through 2020, O’Hara worked to ensure that a 2016 consent decree was implemented and that the Newark department complied with efforts to change the agency’s culture.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

1 day ago

Near-total abortion ban in Arizona dates back to Civil War era...

Associated Press

Near-total abortion ban dates back to 1864, during the Civil War, before Arizona was a state

The near-total abortion ban resurrected last week by the Arizona Supreme Court dates to 1864, when settlers were encroaching on tribal lands.

1 day ago

Tracy Toulou...

Associated Press

How to tackle crime in Indian Country? Empower tribal justice, ex-Justice Department official says

A recently retired director of the Justice Dept. says the federal government hasn't given tribal justice systems equal recognition.

2 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson...

Associated Press

House Speaker Mike Johnson says he will push for aid to Israel and Ukraine this week

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Sunday he will try to advance wartime aid for Israel this week, along with funding for Ukraine.

2 days ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

Associated Press

US shoots down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support for Israel’s defense

Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his beach house to meet with his national security team as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

3 days ago

Protesters in Phoenix shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona state Capitol after ...

Associated Press

Abortion ruling supercharges Arizona to be an especially important swing state

A ruling this week instituting a near-total abortion ban supercharged Arizona's role, turning it into the most critical battleground.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Minneapolis council approves changemaker as new police chief