MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Less than a week after he was appointed as the Minneapolis Police Department’s interim chief of police, African-American faith and community leaders are coming together to voice their support for Medaria Arradondo.

After former police Chief Janee Harteau resigned late last week, Mayor Betsey Hodges selected Arradondo, the assistant chief, to fill the position.

He became the face of the department in the wake of the shooting death of Justine Damond.

Harteau was out of town on vacation when Officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot Damond July 15. The shooting happened after Damond called 911 to report a possible sexual assault outside her home.

Community and faith leaders spoke about Arradondo’s history and record in the city of Minneapolis at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Thursday morning.

The interim chief has a long history with the department, rising in the ranks from school resource officer and patrolman to assistant chief during his 28 years on the force.

He also has experience with discrimination.

Arradondo was among a group of officers who sued the city and won in 2007, alleging they were the victims of systemic racial discrimination and a hostile working environment.

Debbie Montgomery, the first female police officer in the city of St. Paul, believes Arradondo is the right choice.

“I’ve known him. I’ve worked with him. I know he is engaged,” she said.

If approved by the Minneapolis City Council, Arradondo would be the first African-American to lead the Minneapolis Police Department.