Minneapolis Police Chief Resigns After Fatal Shooting of Australian Woman

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau resigned on July 21, 2017, according to a news release from Mayor Betsy Hodges. Hodges said she asked Harteau to resign. (File Photo)

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau resigned Friday as criticism mounted over a deadly encounter in which a city officer shot and killed a woman who called officers to investigate a disturbance near her residence.

Mayor Betsy Hodges said she asked Harteau to resign because “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.”

Harteau said the killing of Justine Ruszczyk led her to step down.

“Last Saturday’s tragedy, as well as some other recent incidents, have caused me to engage in deep reflection,” she said in her own statement. “I’ve decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be.”

The resignation heartened protesters who came out to demonstrate against police violence Friday in Minneapolis.

“I think it’s a really good sign,” Laren Rice said. “I think you need to start with those people at the top, and when you have this many citizens involved, that’s how it trickles down. It starts at the top, and the citizens just keep pushing for change.”

Ruszczyk, 40, was an Australian native who’d moved to Minnesota in 2014 and was active in the community as a yoga and meditation instructor. Her wedding was scheduled for next month.

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SOURCE: CNN, Ralph Ellis