ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Alameda Police Chief Paul Rolleri announced his retirement in a letter sent to the city manager Wednesday, according to multiple sources close to ABC7. Per the letter, the Alameda native will retire by the end of August.
"Being the Chief of Police here has been the honor and opportunity of a lifetime....After 31 years and family and friend discussions, I had made the personal decision to retire back in January," Chief Rolleri wrote in a statement released by the city.
The Chief has been with the department for more than 28 years.
"I think he is an excellent police chief," said Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. "This is a difficult time to be a police chief or a police officer anywhere, our department is working hard to right wrongs and move forward."
The announcement comes after recent criticism of Chief Rolleri's response to a viral video posted on Facebook in May.
In the clip, five Alameda police officers were seen handcuffing and pinning a Black man, Mali Watkins, to the ground following reports he was "dancing in the street."
Body camera footage shows the moments when officers walk up to Watkins.
Officer: "You're dancing in the street."
Mali: "So what? I'm dancing in the street."
Officer: "Yes. Hold on a minute. You're not free to go."
The 44-year-old martial artist was later heard saying, "I do this every day... please let me go. I was just dancing."
But, Chief Rolleri told ABC7 the incident has nothing to do with his retirement.
Although, Mayor Ashcraft admitted what happened to Watkins is prompting the city to focus more on addressing racism and police accountability.
"We are forming working groups not directed by the city manager, but these are groups that will be largely our residents of color that want to be part of the solution," she said.
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