Minneapolis police chief resigns after officer’s shooting of Australian woman who called 911

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Latest on an Australian woman fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer after calling 911 (all times local):

5:55 p.m.

The Minneapolis police chief has resigned following the fatal shooting of an Australian woman by a police officer.

Chief Janee (juh-NAY’) Harteau (HAR’-toh) stepped down Friday, just a day after making her first remarks on the death of 40-year-old Justine Damond. Damond was shot Saturday night by an officer responding to her 911 call about a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her house.

A statement from the city says Harteau quit at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges.

Harteau was out of the city in the days after the shooting. She said Thursday she had been on personal time and was in touch with her command staff.

The chief and Hodges had recently clashed over Harteau’s appointment of an inspector in a critical precinct. Text messages between the two showed Hodges was angry over lack of notice about the appointment.

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5:45 p.m.

Minnesota investigators say they’ve interviewed a witness to the fatal shooting of an Australian woman by a Minneapolis police officer.

A bicyclist was being sought for possible helpful information in the events that led up to the death Saturday night of 40-year-old Justine Damond. Damond was shot by an officer responding to her 911 call about a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the witness, a white man, was seen in the area right before the shooting and stopped to watch as officers tried to revive Damond. They say the man was cooperative and gave an interview Friday.

They gave no other information, but said the officer who shot Damond – Mohamed Noor – has still not agreed to be interviewed.

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5 p.m.

Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau is coming under pressure from City Council members in the wake of an officer’s fatal shooting of an Australian woman, with some calling for her dismissal.

Harteau was out of the city on personal time for nearly a week following the shooting Saturday night of Justine Damond. The 40-year-old life coach and bride-to-be who was killed by an officer responding to her 911 call of a possible sexual assault.

The state is investigating the shooting. In Harteau’s first remarks on the case on Thursday, she was sharply critical of Officer Mohamed Noor while defending his training.

That wasn’t enough for some City Council members. Linea Palmisano represents the ward where Damond died. She said Friday that Harteau still hadn’t called her.

Council member Jacob Frey is a candidate for mayor. He says the city needs a new chief.

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4:20 p.m.

Former U.S. Rep Michele Bachmann has insinuated that a Minneapolis police officer who is Somali-American may have shot and killed an unarmed Australian woman for “cultural” reasons.

Bachman’s comments come as many in the city’s beleaguered Somali community again find themselves on the defensive.

The city’s police chief said Officer Mohamed Noor’s race and ethnicity had nothing to do with the July 15 killing of Justine Damond, who was shot after she called 911 to report a possible rape. But negative comments have included Bachmann’s recent statement that Noor was an “affirmative-action hire by the hijab-wearing mayor of Minneapolis.” That’s an apparent reference to the fact that Mayor Betsy Hodges has worn a head scarf when meeting with leaders of the city’s Somali-American community.

Police Chief Janee (juh-NAY’) Harteau (har-TOH’) has dismissed that notion. Harteau said Thursday that “this is about an individual officer’s actions.”

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4:15 p.m.

Some members of the Minneapolis City Council say they’d like to see police Chief Janee (juh-NAY’) Harteau (har-TOH’) dismissed.

Harteau has come under pressure after last weekend’s shooting of an Australian woman by an officer who was responding to the woman’s 911 call. Harteau was out of town until Thursday, and had to defend her absence at a key moment for the department.

The council doesn’t have direct oversight of the chief, and some members said they’d like to see that changed. Council member Linea Palmisano, who represents the ward where the shooting occurred, says she’s calling for Harteau’s removal.

Council member Jacob Frey, who is running for mayor, also called for a new chief.

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7 a.m.

Hundreds of people joined a march in Minneapolis to honor the life of an Australian woman fatally shot by a police officer after she dialed 911 to report a possible sexual assault.

Among those gathered to mourn Justine Damond Thursday evening was Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile who was shot to death by a suburban police officer during a traffic stop in July last year.

Demonstrators paused outside Damond’s home, where Castile hugged Damond’s fiance, Don Damond. Mourners dropped off flowers and handwritten notes in the alley where Officer Mohamed Noor killed Damond on Saturday night.

Former officer Yanez Jeronimo, who killed Castile, was acquitted last month of first-degree reckless homicide. Castile’s family reached a nearly $3 million settlement in the case.

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12 a.m.

The Minneapolis police chief says the Australian woman who was shot by an officer after calling 911 “did not have to die.”

Police Chief Janee Harteau (juh-NAY’ HAR’-toh) on Thursday made her first remarks about the death of 40-year-old Justine Damond last Saturday. She had been out of town on a personal trip.

Harteau says the actions of Officer Mohamed Noor, who shot Damond, “go against who we are in the department” and against how officers are trained.

Noor’s partner told state investigators this week that the shooting occurred moments after a loud sound was heard near their squad car. Both officers are on paid administrative leave.

Also Thursday, attorney Bob Bennett, who represented the family of black motorist Philando Castile, said he is representing Damond’s family. Castile was fatally shot by a suburban officer last year.

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