Former Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau said in an interview aired Wednesday that she did everything she could to rush home from a hiking trip in Colorado last month after one of her officers killed an Australian woman who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault.
But Harteau told Minnesota Public Radio, in her first media interview since her resignation, that she didn’t realize the depth of the anger ignited by the July 15 shooting of Justine Damond — or the political fallout to come. She said it took her two flights and a three-hour car ride to get home nearly four days after the shooting. Soon after Harteau got back, Mayor Betsy Hodges asked her to resign, saying she had lost confidence in her.
“I was in communication with my team, and I’m the one that requested the BCA (Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) be activated. And we know from history that things take time,” Harteau told MPR. “At no time did anybody say, ‘This is bad. You need to come back, chief.’”
Harteau said she’s aware of how politics shape decisions at City Hall, and that Hodges is facing a tough re-election campaign, but declined to criticize the mayor.
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