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Biden will nominate Trump critic and former bay area police chief as next commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection


Vanessa Arredondo

San Francisco Chronicle

President Joe Biden plans to nominate former Richmond police chief Chris Magnus to serve as the commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, according to a statement from the White House.

Magnus, a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, served as head of the Richmond Police Department from 2006 until 2016 when he began serving as chief of police in Tucson, Ariz.

His nomination is one of six new roles announced in the Department of Homeland Security.

“Together they will help advance the Department of Homeland Security’s mission to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement, referrign to the six nominees.

Biden selected Magnus to lead the agency based on his progressive police record and his recent work policing a city near the U.S. — Mexico border, according to a White House statement.

During his 10-year tenure in Richmond, Magnus led efforts to improve community policing and promote police reform and accountability, overseeing a large decline of crime in the city.

In 2014, he married Terrance Cheung, the chief of staff to Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. Magnus was said to be the first openly gay male police chief to marry.

Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus – Tucson Police Department

Magnus received national attention when after attending a Bay Area protest in 2014 and held up a sign reading ” Black Lives Matter.” The Richmond officers union criticized him, but he responded that he would do it again.

Magnus also served in police departments in Michigan and North Dakota, according to the White House.


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