A Look Back At Janeé Harteau’s Term As Chief Of Minneapolis Police

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — July 22 will mark one week since a southwest Minneapolis yoga instructor was shot dead by police after calling 911.

Justine Damond was reporting a possible sexual assault in the alleyway behind her home on the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South. Officers Muhammad Noor and Matthew Harrity responded.

According to state investigators, Harrity drove down the alley and said they were startled by a loud sound. Immediately afterward, Damond appeared at his door and Noor fired a single fatal shot from the passengers side.

Since the incident, there has been backlash from the community — leading up to a major shakeup in the police department with the resignation of Police Chief Janeé Hartaeu.

She became the city’s first female and openly gay chief nearly five years ago, but her leadership has come under fire in the past few years following controversy.

Janeé Harteau was chosen by Mayor RT Rybak in 2012 and renominated by Mayor Betsy Hodges in 2015. The public back and forth between the chief and Mayor Hodges began after the police shooting of Jamar Clark in 2015, which sparked months of protests at the department’s 4th Precinct. A federal investigation blamed Hodges for miscommunication between her office and the police chief in the wake of that shooting.

More recently, Harteau butted heads with the mayor over her choice of long-time union leader John Delmonico to lead the 4th precinct. He eventually withdrew his name from consideration.

Harteau promised to build trust with the community and launched the program “MPD: 2.0,” which promised more cops on the beat and more transparency. Just in March, Fortune magazine ranked her among the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.”

Harteau was criticized this week for not coming back sooner from vacation after the shooting death of Justine Damond.

When speaking about the most recent police shooting of Justine Damond, chief Hartaeu said Damond did not have to die, the shooting should not have happened, and body cameras should’ve been activated.

After Chief Harteau handed in her resignation, Mayor Hodges quickly nominated current Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo as the new police chief. Arradondo joined the department in 1989 as a patrol officer in the 3rd Precinct. He served as a school resource officer and a Northside beat officer. Arradondo also served as inspector of the first precinct.

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