Minneapolis police chief steps down amid Justine Damond shooting controversy
The police chief in Minneapolis has resigned from her position amid pressures from the city’s mayor. Janeé Harteau’s resignation was made in connection to the shooting death of Justine Damond, formerly known as Justine Ruszczyk, by a police officer who was startled after responding to Damond’s call for help.
“I have decided to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the best it can be,” Harteau said in a statement, according to the Washington Post.
Mayor Betsy Hodges demanded Harteau to step down after it was found that neither of the officers who arrived at Damond’s home had their body cameras turned on, meaning that a lot of important information will not be substantiated or even shared.
“I’ve lost confidence in the Chief’s ability to lead us further,” Hodges said. “For us to continue to transform policing — and community trust in policing — we need new leadership at MPD.”
Despite Mayor Hodges attempts to place a majority of the blame on Harteau, protestors interrupted her announcement during a press conference and demanded she also step down from her position with chants of “Bye, bye, Betsy,” according to the New York Times.
The reaction from the public and leadership is exactly what should be happening in an instance of police officers wrongfully shooting a citizen. But it’s more of a rarity than a regular occurrence and many people suspect its because Damond was a white woman and viewed as more of a victim than other police shooting fatalities.