Police chiefs throughout the country have either resigned or accelerated their retirements since the killing of George Floyd, which was followed by calls for police reform coupled with growing animosity and distrust of law enforcement.
The May 25 death of Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, ignited a wave of nationwide protests that have sometimes turned violent. Among the demands from activists and some elected officials are greater accountability for law enforcement and the defunding of police departments.
The most recent departure came Tuesday when U. Renee Hall, the first Black woman to lead the Dallas Police Department, resigned. The announcement came shortly after inconsistencies were found in the department's after-action report detailing the first few nights of protests over Floyd's death.
Below is a list of cities where police chiefs have stepped down in the midst of a reckoning over race and police practices.
Converse police Chief Ruben Saucedo was only four months into the job when he resigned Sept. 21 after conflicts within the department.
In a social media post from the police union, the post said Saucedo left because he didn't agree with the direction the department was headed and the "disregard" shown to leaders, KENS-TV reported.
A slew of federal charges prompted Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez to resign Thursday. Federal prosecutors allege Perez and the city's personnel director, David Dunn, rigged the police chief exam in 2018 to favor Perez.
He stepped down hours after the charges were announced. A federal complaint said Dunn gave Perez confidential exam questions, had officers complete the essay portion of the test and skewed scoring criteria to benefit him. Perez allegedly directed two officers to write his resume and cover letter.
Prosecutors allege the pair voluntarily spoke with the FBI about the investigation but lied about their roles in the alleged scheme.
The terms of Perez's contract include a $300,000 for accrued leave.
Police Chief Michael Geier will retire next week, hours after rumors circulated that he's been relieved of his duties, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Geier has been the chief since 2017 and has nearly 50 years in law enforcement.
He cited his personal life and the job workload while juggling custody of his two grandchildren.
“My grandkids were playing and I was doing something for work and they asked a couple times, ‘papa come out and play.’ And the little one came and said, she’s eight years old, she goes, ‘papa do you still love us?’ And that was that moment that I wondered, if I was ever looking for a time when I knew I had to retire, it was then,” Chief Geier said at a press conference on Thursday.
At a news conference, Tim Keller said the city's crime rate isn't where he wanted it to be and wanted faster progress.
"I saw the need, for also just increased progress for a faster rate of change,” Keller said. “We think it’s the right time for new leadership at APD. So, I think it’s a mutual decision. We want to move faster and we think it’s time for new leadership and he’s also ready to retire. So, I think it’s the way it should be.”
Hall's resignation also coincided with the departure of Rochester police Chief La'Ron Singletary, who has drawn scrutiny over his handling of the suffocation death of Daniel Prude. Criticized by activists and Mayor Lovely Warren, Singletary said his actions were being mischaracterized.
Warren publically accused Singletary of misleading her about the circumstances of Prude's death. Officers put a spit hood over Prude during the March 23 encounter and allegedly pressed his head onto the pavement.
Prude died a week later after being taken off life support.
Singletary and two other members of the department's senior command resigned Wednesday as protests continue in the city.
On Tuesday, Police Chief Michael Cronin announced his retirement after 12 years as head of the police force amid allegations of racial profiling. The announcement came a week after an officer resigned after the release of body camera footage showers officers questioning two Black business owners about being in their own store after hours, SFGate.com reported.
In a statement, Tiburon Town Manager Greg Chanis denied the retirement was connected to the incident.
"He and I have been discussing the timing of his retirement for some time, but he only recently chose the date that corresponds with his entry into public service 54 years ago," he wrote.
Orlando Hills, Ill.
Thomas Scully was dismissed as the Chicago-area village police chief Wednesday over a social media post about looting some deemed to be racist.
"We hold all of our public officials to the highest standards in their personal and professional lives in Orland Hills,” a village statement said. “This social media post is in incredibly poor taste. It does not reflect the values of the people of our community, and we will not tolerate such behavior from any of our public officials.”
Lake City, S.C..
The chief of the Lake City Police Department submitted his resignation last week. Kipp Coker has been chief since January 2017 and was with the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office prior to taking the position, SCNow.com reported.
The reason for his departure was not given.
Marion police Chief Tony Flowers resigned Aug. 27 to pursue other opportunities outside law enforcement, WBTW-TV reported. He was hired in July 2018 and has served as interim chief before becoming the city's top cop.
Pamplico police Chief Danny Brown left the department Aug. 21, citing personal reasons for his departure after two years on the job.
"I really enjoyed it. The two years here has been great," he said, according to WPDE-TV. "Seen a lot of development from the community. A lot of support from the citizens here. Small town, but in the right root for growing."
West Seneca, N.Y.
An officer with the West Seneca Police Department resigned Aug. 21 after they were seen berating the staff at the Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York. The officer was called when someone who believed his partner was being treated at the clinic began kicking the door after he was told to leave, The Buffalo News reported.
When the officer arrived, they spotted a Black Lives Matter sign and asked the clinic staff if it belonged to them. When they confirmed it did, the officer allegedly berated the staff and left after refusing to respond to the call.
The officer was initially suspended over the incident.
Cobden, Ill., Police Chief B.J. Hale left late last month “due to some issues with how he and some former officers have been treated,” according to a department Facebook post. No specifics were given.
He is now working for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, KFVS-TV reported.
Carmen Best announced she was leaving her post last month after city leaders voted to reduce her budget amid pressure from local activists. Best, 55, officially stepped down last week after the City Council approved sweeping proposals to slash the police budget by $4 million and cut as many as 100 officers.
"I believe 100% that they were putting me in a position destined to fail. Cutting a police department that already had low staffing numbers, that was already struggling to keep up with the demand," Best told NPR. "How are we going to provide for adequate public safety in that environment?"
James Dobson was dismissed from the South Florida police agency in August after failing to implement reforms and after an outside agency review determined the trouble Opa-locka police force couldn't respond in a "professional manner," the Miami Herald reported.
The city's crime rate has increased in recent months, much like other cities nationwide.
“When our residents voted for change, one of their main concerns was public safety," a joint statement from Mayor Matthew Pigatt and City Manager John Pate announcing the firing said. “The decision was made due to a myriad of situations stemming from the current crime rate the City has experienced the last couple of years, as well as the Police Department’s lack of progress based on the assessment report from earlier this year by the Miami-Dade County Police Department. It is for these reasons, as well as others, that the City has moved in a different direction.”
Steve Anderson, chief of the Nashville Metro Police Department, abruptly left Aug. 6 after the mayor's office announced that it would be his last day. Reasons for him stepping down were not given but Anderson drew criticism from elected officials and activists during his tenure, The Tennessean reported.
Critics said he was opposed to change and has come under fire from elected leaders.
He previously announced his retirement in June shortly after leaders approved increased funding for the police department.
He initially planned to retire in the fall.
Former Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales was demoted in August over his department's response protesters advocating police reform. He was less than a year into his four-year term when the city's Fire and Police Commission reduced his rank, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
He was previously ordered to explain why police officers used tear gas during periods of unrest, along with explaining investigations and providing updates on hiring and promotions.
Morales chose to retire instead of staying with the department.
Las Cruces, N.M.
Las Cruces police Chief Patrick Gallagher planned to retire in December but left the force Aug. 1. His two-year tenure saw eight fatal police encounters, the Las Cruces Sun News reported.
One such incident involved the Feb. 29 death of a man who was put into a chokehold. The death was ruled a homicide and the officer was fired and criminally charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The department has since banned chokeholds.
Rising Star, Texas
Chief Wayne Edgin was asked by city leaders to step down in July after they were informed by Eastland County District Attorney Russ Thomason that his office would no longer accept cases from the city's top cop.
"A police officer who cannot file cases with the district attorney's office cannot effectively do his duty," Mayor Jim Carpenter said in a statement posted to Facebook.
The city, nor Thomason, explained why his office would not accept cases filed by Edgin.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Rick Maglione, police chief since January 2017, was removed and reassigned July July 9 in response to his officers; response to protests against police brutality.
At one point, he praised officers for firing rubber bullets at demonstrators with their hands up and criticized them while lauding the police as heroes. Some officers seemed to enjoy using the less-than-lethal munitions, the Sun Sentinel reported, with body camera footage capturing some saying: “get that motherf-----” and “pop his a--.”
He said the cuts put him in a "position that makes my ability to effectively, professionally and safely impact those groups unachievable."
The board also called for officers to give up their uniforms and patrol off-campus. Chamberlain had only been on the job a few months.
Jefferson City, Texas
A series of Facebook posts some deemed insensitive to a Black Lives Matter protest were Jefferson City Police Chief Jason Carroll's undoing.
Several residents complained about the social media posts, which were deleted. One appeared to show a pacifier with a caption that read: "America's Newest Monument."
Carroll called it quits during a special Jefferson City Council meeting to address the complaints, the Longview News-Journal reported.
Prince George County, Md.
Prince George’s County police Chief Hank Stawinski stepped down June 18 after the American Civil Liberties Union released a 94-page report detailing allegations of discrimination and retaliation within the department.
Officers suing the department allege it was biased against Black and Hispanic employees, The Washington Post reported.
A lawsuit filed by officers prior to the release of the report said disciplinary measures against officers of color were harsh than their White colleagues and that those who complain about biased treatment are often demoted.
Police Chief William Smith abruptly resigned in mid-June at the request of Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. The request came after several nights of protests during which police officers deployed pepper spray and rubber bullets at demonstrators.
“He has served this city with grace but we are ready to move it in a new direction,” Stoney said at the time. “I have high expectations of the Richmond Police Department. And at a minimum I expect them to be willing to come around the table with the community to reform and reimagine public safety.”
William “Jody” Blackwell was ousted as interim chief less than two weeks after replacing Smith. Details about a police shooting involving Blackwell emerged after he took office but it was not clear if that was the reason he stepped down.
Stoney eventually selected Gerald Smith, deputy police chief in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, as the city new top cop.
Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down June 13, two weeks after drawing national praise for how she engaged with protesters marching against police brutality. That changed when an officer fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, 27, after a struggle during a sobriety test.
She resigned less than 24 hours after Brooks was killed. The killing angered protesters, who set fire to the Wendy's fast food restaurant near where Brooks died.
The Atlanta Police Department was also scrutinized when several officers were caught on video dragging two college students out of a car in a traffic jam caused by demonstrations.
Shields openly questioned the criminal charges leveled on six officers by local prosecutors.
City leaders in ePhio village put Police Chief Steve Riddle on leave in mid-June after the arrest of six Black men after they were stopped for having too many people on a golf cart. Videos of the incident showed officers using Tasers on people.
The men were charged with aggravated riot, assault, resisting arrest and inciting violence before the charges were eventually dropped. Two other officers resigned from the force, the Fremont News-Messenger reported.
A Eugene Police officer resigned sometime in June while under investigation for an undisclosed allegation involving a female, according to news reports. The Salem Police Department was brought in to conduct the inquiry that stemmed from a May 27 encounter in which she “reported information regarding a contact she had the prior day with a Eugene police officer," The Register-Guard reported.
A woman told police the officer responded to a domestic violence call at her home, according to KEZI-TV. The officer allegedly asked her sexually inappropriate questions and the pair exchanged text messages via the officer's personal and work phone, the station reported.
The case was given to the Lane County District Attorney's Office but it was not immediately clear if the officer faces criminal charges.
Portland Police Chief Jami Resch stepped down June 8 as the city became the site of massive protests spurred by Floyd's death that are still ongoing. The departure came less than six months into her tenure.
She was criticized by community members for the lack of diversity in the Portland Police Bureau's command staff, which were all White men.
Chuck Lovell, a Black lieutenant on the force, replaced her.
Metro police Chief Steve Conrad was fired June 1 after Mayor Greg Fischer said that officers involved in a fatal shooting did not have their body cameras on.
"This type of institutional failure will not be tolerated," said Fischer.
Louisville police officers and National Guard soldiers opened fire and killed David McAtee, the owner of a popular barbecue restaurant after officials said someone shot at officers from a parking lot, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
Conrad faced also increasing pressure after the March fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was killed while sleeping during a "no-knock" warrant execution by narcotics officers. One officer was fired for "blindly" firing 10 rounds into her apartment.