Minneapolis police chief resigns in wake of fatal shooting
MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau resigned Friday in the wake of a deadly encounter in which an officer shot and killed a woman who called officers to investigate a possible sexual assault near her residence.
Mayor Betsy Hodges said she asked Harteau to resign.
“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,” Hodges said in a statement.
Harteau said the killing of Justin 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 city of Minneapolis deserves the very best.”
Ruszczyk 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.
She called police last Saturday night about a possible sexual assault near her house, police said.
Police said a squad car entered an alley and Ruszczyk, 40, approached the driver’s side to talk with the officers.
The officer in the passenger seat shot and killed the unarmed Ruszczyk, police said.
No charges have been filed, but the officers have been placed on administrative leave.
In her first comments on the case Thursday, Harteau said the shooting “should not have happened. … On our squad cars, you will find the words: ‘To protect with courage and serve with compassion.’ This did not happen.”