Minneapolis police chief resigns after Australian woman’s death

July 21 (UPI) — Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges on Friday announced the resignation of police Chief Janee Harteau one week after the officer-involved shooting of an unarmed Australian woman.

Hodges said she asked Harteau for her resignation, and the chief agreed.

“As far as we have come, I’ve lost confidence in the chief’s ability to lead us further — and from the many conversations I’ve had with people around our city, especially this week, it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well,” Hodges said.

“For us to continue to transform policing — and community trust in policing — we need new leadership at [the Minneapolis Police Department],” she continued in a statement posted on Twitter.

On Thursday, Harteau gave a press conference saying the shooting death of Justine Damond was unnecessary.

Damond, whose legal surname was Ruszczyk but went by the last name of her fiancee, was shot in the abdomen by police officer Mohamed Noor on Saturday and later died from the injury. A short time before the shooting, she’d called 911 to report a possible rape in the alley behind her house.

“I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers,” Harteau said Thursday. “These were the actions and judgments of one individual.”

She said the officers involved in the shooting should have activated their body cameras.

Harteau served on the Minneapolis Police Department for more than 30 years. She acknowledged her resignation Friday with a statement, saying she’s proud of the “great work” the department has accomplished.

“The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we’ve developed as a department,” she said. I’ve decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be.”

After announcing Harteau’s resignation, Hodges said she’s nominating current Assistant Chief Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo as next police chief.

“Over the next few years, the Minneapolis Police Department will work to continue the transformational change that we all know we need, and to strengthen and ingrain into our policing the changes that we have already made,” she said. “I am confident that Assistant Chief Arradondo is the right person to lead us through it.”


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