WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is nominating its first set of U.S. Marshals, including the first Black man to serve as the U.S. Marshal in Minnesota, along with a slate of other historic firsts for U.S. attorney posts across the nation.
The nomination of Eddie Frizell to be the U.S. Marshal in the District of Minnesota comes months after two sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a Black man in Minneapolis while assigned to a Marshals Service fugitive task force, sparking controversy about how the Justice Department was implementing its policy on body-worn cameras.
The shooting of Winston Boogie Smith Jr. in June sparked nights of protest in a city still reeling from the death of George Floyd. The officers, deputies from local sheriff’s offices who work on the federal fugitive task force, were not wearing body cameras. Issues with local officers being prohibited from wearing body cameras has led some local police departments in Minnesota to pull their officers from federal task forces.
Frizell is a well-known figure in Minnesota law enforcement, having served as chief of the Metro Transit Police Department in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area since 2019. Before taking that position, he was a longtime police official in Minneapolis, serving in various positions, including as deputy chief of patrol, and as an inspector.
Andrew Luger, a former Obama-era U.S. attorney and partner at the law firm Jones Day, is being nominated to be U.S. attorney in Minnesota. Luger had previously served in the role as U.S. attorney in Minnesota from 2014 until 2017 and previously worked as a federal prosecutor in Minnesota and New York.
The White House is also nominating the first Black women to serve as U.S. attorneys in the Northern District of Ohio and the Eastern District of Michigan. And it will nominate the first Black men to serve as U.S. attorneys in Nevada and in the Middle District of Louisiana.
The Justice Department’s 93 U.S. attorneys, who are responsible for federal criminal prosecutions in their respective districts, are likely to be central to efforts to combat violent crime.
The candidates were “chosen for their devotion to enforcing the law, their professionalism, their experience and credentials in this field, their dedication to pursuing equal justice for all, and their commitment to the independence of the Department of Justice,” the White House said.
Biden has now nominated 37 people to serve as U.S. attorneys, positions that have been filled for months by acting U.S. attorneys.
Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson is being nominated to be the U.S. attorney in that state. Frierson has served in the state Assembly since 2010 and also works as an assistant public defender in Clark County, Nevada, the county home to Las Vegas. Frierson was elected to his current Assembly run in 2016 after previously serving from 2011 to 2014. He has been the speaker of the lower chamber since 2016.
In Michigan, the White House has nominated Mark Totten to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan. Totten, a former law school professor, has served as Chief Legal Counsel for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer since 2019. He is also a former federal and local prosecutor. And in the Eastern District of Michigan, officials are nominating Dawn Ison, who has served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the office since 2002.
The other nominees include Brandon Brown, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Western District of Louisiana, to run that office, and Ronald Gathe, Jr., to be the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana. Gathe is the chief of trials for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Louisiana and previously served as an assistant district attorney. He previously worked in private practice and is also the Vice President of Membership for the National Black Prosecutors Association, helping to establish the first and only chapter in Louisiana.
The White House will also nominate Ryan Buchanan to be the U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Georgia, where he has worked as an assistant U.S. attorney and deputy chief of the office’s Violent Crime and National Security Section. And officials are also announcing the nomination of Marisa Darden to be U.S. attorney in the Northern District of Ohio, where she worked as a prosecutor from 2014 until 2019.
The White House is also announcing it is nominating LaDon Reynolds to serve as U.S. Marshal in the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago. Reynolds is the police chief of the Oak Park Police Department in Illinois. The longtime officer also serves as the department’s emergency preparedness coordinator.
Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press