Police Chief Resigns in Wake of Justine Damond Shooting

Janeé Harteau's resignation was requested by Minneapolis mayor
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2017 6:49 PM CDT
Police Chief Resigns in Wake of Justine Damond Shooting
Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau, center, stands with police inspector Michael Kjos, left, and assistant chief Medaria Arradondo during a news conference Thursday, July 20, 2017, Minneapolis.   (Maria Alejandra Cardona/Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau has stepped down at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Harteau is leaving the police department less than a week after Justine Damond was shot and killed by officer Mohamed Noor. "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 in a statement. According to the New York Times, authorities have yet to offer any explanation for the shooting of Damond. The 40-year-old Australian woman had called 911 Saturday night to report a possible sexual assault near her home.

Harteau had been widely criticized for not returning to Minneapolis from vacation quickly enough following the shooting. She said she was "backpacking in the mountains" at the time, so it was difficult to get back, ABC News reports. Minneapolis city council members had also expressed a desire for Harteau to resign Friday. "Last Saturday’s tragedy, as well as some other recent incidents, have caused me to engage in deep reflection," Harteau said in a statement announcing her resignation. Harteau had been with the Minneapolis Police Department for 30 years. Mayor Hodges is facing re-election in November and has been criticized for her handling of police issues. The shooting of Damond was ruled a homicide and is under investigation. (More Justine Damond stories.)

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