Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau resigned Friday after massive criticism of her response to several high-profile police shootings and after the mayor basically told her to resign or be fired.
Harteau’s resignation came at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges, who has publicly clashed with the police chief. Hodges said in a statement Friday that she had lost confidence in Harteau, reported CBS News.
“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 wrote.
She continued, “For us to continue to transform policing — and community trust in policing — we need new leadership at [Minneapolis Police Department].”
Hodges scheduled a news conference Friday night to nominate department veteran Medaria Arradondo to serve as the new police chief. Surprisingly, she was quickly interrupted by protesters who have lost confidence in the mayor. They flooded intot he conference and called for Hodges to resign, chanting “bye, bye, Betsy,” and shouting “this is our house.”
Protesters were escorted out of the room and the mayor retook the spotlight.
The resignation follows the July 15 police shooting of Justine Damond, a 40-year-old yoga teacher from Sydney, Australia, in south Minneapolis.
People have been outraged over the ordeal where a black officer shot and killed a white woman.
In Harteau’s resignation letter, she wrote that the recent police shootings have caused her “to engage in deep reflection.”
“The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we’ve developed as a department. Despite the [department’s] many accomplishments under my leadership over these years and my love for the city, I have to put the communities we serve first,” Harteau wrote.
She added, “The city of Minneapolis deserves the very best.”
Harteau also served as the department head during the controversial shooting deaths of Jamar Clark in 2015 and Philando Castile in 2016.
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