MIAMI (NewsNation Now) — At least 17 police chiefs in the United States have resigned or been fired since June 1.
The resignations and removals come amid renewed outrage and debate in America over racial injustice in policing.
“I don’t know that I can recall a time when we have seen this at such a level…when we have seen so many chiefs throughout the country moving on so quickly,” former New York police chief and criminal justice professor Brian Higgins said.
On Tuesday, Rochester, New York Police Chief La’Ron Singletary resigned following backlash over the death of Daniel Prude.
Singletary called criticism of him an attempt to destroy his character and integrity.
Also on Tuesday, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall resigned. She was the first Black woman to lead the department. Her resignation follows questions over the department’s response to protests against police violence.
“If we continue this push across the country where we defund the police, the police are not supported, there is an automatic rush to judgment that police actions are wrong: yes. I don’t think this is something we are going to see just pass with the summer,” said Higgins.
Other recent resignations include Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, who quit after her department’s funds were slashed.
Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields stepped down amid protests over the death of Rayshard Brooks.
And Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione was removed from his position after the department was criticized for the way it handled protests – including when protester LaToya Ratlieff was shot in the head with a rubber bullet.
Ratlieff is recovering and says the chief’s demotion is hopefully the beginning of reforms within the department.
“There was a part of me that felt that was needed,” said Ratlieff. “I did think the actions that Fort Lauderdale took in regard to removing him from the chief position was important. It was a good sign for the city to let them know they want to have someone in that role who is going to hold officers accountable and make sure they are going to do the right thing.”
Maglione still works for the department, but is now a major in the investigations division.