Last week, Justine Damond, a white, blonde, Australian yoga instructor, called the police in Minneapolis to report a rape. She was so concerned that she called the police twice to get them to come faster – she could hear the victim screaming.
When the police arrived, she ran to their car in her pajamas, and officer Mohamed Noor shot her once. He later said that he was scared that she was trying to “ambush” the police officers.
On Friday night, Minneapolis Police chief Janeé Harteau, who was Minneapolis’s first gay Chief of Police, resigned following a statement from Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges that the mayor had “lost confidence” in the police chief.
In a press conference on Thursday, Harteau said, “Justine didn’t have to die. I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers.”
Harteau was recently in the center of a controversy with Minneapolis Pride, as the organizers of the parade banned uniformed police officers from marching following the acquittal of the police officer who killed Philando Castile. Harteau said that the ban was “divisive” and that it “hurt” LGBTQ police officers. Pride organizers said they were trying to find a way to accommodate groups that did not want to march with uniformed police officers, and eventually settled on letting the police march in the middle of the parade, instead of leading it like originally planned.
Neither Noor nor his partner Matthew Harrity turned on their body cameras when responding to Damond’s call, and the car’s dashboard camera was turned off. Even though the Minneapolis Police Department spent an estimated $2 million for them last year, KSTP estimates that the average police officer uploads around 6 hours of video content per month from body cameras.
Protestors on Friday called for the mayor to resign as well.
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 22, 2017
Harteau is the fourth police chief to resign or be fired following a shooting in recent years. San Francisco Police chief Gregory P. Suhr was fired last year following the fatal shooting of an African American woman. In 2015 Baltimore Police chief Anthony Batts was fired following the killing of Freddie Gray. And Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel fired police superintendent Garry McCarthy after an African American teenager was shot 16 times by a white police officer.