Monday, 23 July, 2018

Protesters shut down Minneapolis mayor's press conference

Don Damond is comforted outside his home by Valerie Castile More Don Damond is comforted outside his home by Valerie Castile More
Andrew Cummings | 24 July, 2017, 01:34

Mayor Betsy Hodges faced the public Friday to announce the resignation of Police Chief Janee Harteau, whose department was responsible for the shooting death of Damond, who had called emergency operators about a suspected sexual assault near her house.

In announcing her resignation, Chief Harteau said she wanted to "let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done" to improve the police department.

Protesters shouted down Hodges at a press conference Friday night in which she announced she meant to nominate Assistant Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to take over as head of the department, and demanded that she resign.

While speaking to the press, Hodges said her request for Harteau's resignation was not directly linked to, "one particular incident".

Replacing Harteau as chief for the time being is Medaria Arradondo, the mayor's pick for the city's next top cop.

In her statement, Harteau called last Saturday's shooting "a tragic death" and acknowledged the pain it had caused to the community. "We ask that you take your staff with you".

"Once we got information that the BCA [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] gave out, given what I know from what the BCA released, this should not have happened and I send deep condolences to the entire country but mostly, I send them to her family and friends and loved ones". "Our hearts are broken and we are utterly devastated by the loss of Justine", he said. She was Minneapolis' first female and openly gay police chief.

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The bureau said in a statement Friday that "the individual has been cooperative and provided an interview today", and asked for any other witnesses to come forward. Authorities say Officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot her as she approached his squad vehicle.

According to an investigation by The Washington Post, US police shoot and kill about 1,000 people a year.

City of Minneapolis, police Officer Mohamed Noor poses for a photo at a community event welcoming him to the Minneapolis police force. She was in her pyjamas, unarmed and talking to the two police in their auto when the fatal shot was sacked. The officer who shot Castile, Jeronimo Yanez, was recently acquitted on charges of second-degree manslaughter. Activists were quick to point out that Harteau spoke up about Damond, who was white, when she regularly defended officers involved in shootings of black people.

A witness who was nearby when Justine Damond was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer has been located and is co-operating, according to state investigators.

"No longer will we pay you to kill us", another protester said of alleged police brutality.

A witness near the alley where Australian Justine Damond was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer has reportedly been questioned by authorities.

Harteau said she had not spoken out on the shooting until Thursday because she was on vacation and had little cellphone coverage in the remote mountainous area where she was staying, reported the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

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