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Toddrick Barnette

Adjunct Faculty Community Safety Commissioner, City of Minneapolis

  • Education
  • J.D., University of Minnesota
    B.A., George Washington University

Toddrick S. Barnette, former chief judge in Hennepin County, was raised by his mother and grandmother as an only child in the Anacostia neighborhood in Southeast Washington, D.C., an area widely known for its crushing poverty and devastating crime.

Barnette attended an elementary Catholic School a few city blocks from his grandmother's house. For high school, Barnette traveled an hour on public transportation to attend DeMatha Catholic High School located in Hyattsville Maryland, just a few miles from the University of Maryland.

After high school, Barnette commuted from his home to The George Washington University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and sociology. At GWU, he was particularly engaged in the Educational Opportunity Program, an enrichment and tutoring program designed to foster students of color. Following graduation, Barnette considered pursuing a graduate degree in criminal justice, but on the advice of mentors decided to go to law school.

Barnette attended The University of Minnesota Law School, where he earned his juris doctorate. During law school, Barnette worked for the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office as a law clerk. After graduation, he joined the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office as an attorney. He handled a variety of misdemeanor and felony cases, and spent a significant portion of his career handling juvenile delinquency and child protection cases. From 2001 to 2004, Barnette was the senior attorney supervisor in the Drug Court Unit.

After 14 years with the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office, Barnette joined the Hennepin County Attorney's Office as a senior assistant county attorney in the Juvenile Division. There, he prosecuted all types of delinquency cases. He had a special focus on certification of juveniles as adults and “extended jurisdiction juvenile” cases. Barnette was also responsible for the Criminal Sexual Conduct Team within the Juvenile Division.

On February 6, 2006, Barnette was appointed to the Hennepin County Judicial District Court. He served as the Presiding Judge of Drug Court for two years. He also has twice served as the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. He was elected Assistant Chief Judge by his collogues in 2016 and 2018. In 2020, he was elected Chief Judge and served in the role until 2023.

Barnette is currently the City of Minneapolis Community Safety Commissioner.