Minneapolis Police Chief Jane Harteau’s resignation was announced during a press conference on Friday evening. Mayor Betsy Hodges made the announcement in front of a rowdy crowd, upset over the death of an Australian woman who was killed by a Somalian immigrant police officer a week ago.
Hodges told the crowd that the city needed “new leadership” for the police department. “I asked Chief Harteau for her resignation, she tendered it and I accepted it,” Hodges said.
One of the attendees was not satisfied with Harteau’s resignation alone. The man wanted to see an end to Hodges’s tenure, as well.
“We do not want you as the mayor,” the man yelled at Hodges. “We’re asking for your prompt resignation. We don’t want you as our Mayor of Minniapolis anymore. We’re asking that you take your staff with you. We don’t want you to appoint anybody anymore. Your leadership has been very ineffective. We do not want you as the mayor, ever again!” (more below)
Hodges offered “to sit down and talk with people about the future of policing in Minneapolis,” but the man remained loud and vocal, rousing the crowd.
Eventually, Hodges was escorted away from the podium, which allowed the protesting citizens to take turns there.
Hodges finished her announcement after the room was cleared 30 minutes later, answering questions posed by the press and asserting she has no intention of resigning.
The shake up comes in the wake of 40-year-old Justine Damond’s fatal encounter with police, the woman shot last Saturday in a seemingly unprovoked incident. The officer involved, Mohamed Noor, was responding to Damond’s 911 call with his partner, when he fired his weapon through the open driver’s side window, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA).
According to reports, Noor is not being cooperative as the investigation progresses.
Police Chief Harteau was not in the city at the time of the shooting, and only returned Thursday. When she finally addressed the shooting, she said Officer Noor’s actions defy his training and “go against who we are in the department.”
You can see the protesters impassioned comments here, as well as additional local news coverage of the incident and protests.
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