Continuing his campaign promise to have the most diverse cabinet in history, President Joe Biden has named former Richmond, California and Tucson, Arizona chief of police Chris Magnus as commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Magnus is an openly gay man.
“During his time in Richmond, Magnus played a key role in rebuilding community trust in law enforcement and dramatically reducing the number of shootings and homicides,” the White House said in a press release. “In Tucson, Magnus implemented de-escalation training, sentinel event review processes, and programs to promote officer health and wellness.”
Magnus, 60, already holds another “first” distinction under his belt. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that he is also the first openly gay police chief to marry. Magnus and his husband Terrance Cheung wed in 2014.
In all fairness: "As police chief of gritty Richmond, California, Chris Magnus embraced Black Lives Matter, all but eliminated fatal shootings by police, and cut homicides" pic.twitter.com/myW9nrhFMD
— Jay Love (@JayBirdOne) April 24, 2018
Magnus has also earned wide praise for his reforms while serving as police chief in Richmond. He improved community relations with police during his tenure, and the homicide rate for the city fell from 38 homicides in 2006 to just 11 in 2014, prompting the Obama Justice Department to appoint him a special investigator into police misconduct in Ferguson, Missouri. He also made headlines in 2014 when a picture of him taking part in a #BlackLivesMatter protest holding a sign of support went viral on the internet.
If confirmed, Magnus will inherit an ongoing border crisis in the United States, as thousands of migrants have rushed the nation’s southern border in hopes of entering the country.