Justine Damond shooting: Minneapolis police chief resigns

The Minneapolis police chief has resigned following the fatal shooting of an unarmed Australian woman.

Janee Harteau resigned following the city mayor's call for new leadership, after Justine Damond was shot by a police officer last week.

In a statement released on Saturday (NZT), Ms Harteau said the tragedy had caused her to "engage in deep reflection".

"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."

Associated Press reports Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges asked for the chief's resignation.

"I've lost confidence in the Chief's ability to lead us further. It's clear to us that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well."

At a news conference several hours after the announcement, Ms Hodges tried to speak about the departure but she was shut down by protestors who waved signs with phrases "You Are Next" and "Messy Betsy".

Ms Harteau was out of the city on personal time for nearly a week following last Saturday's shooting of the 40-year-old, a life coach and bride-to-be who was killed by an officer responding to her 911 call of a possible rape.

In Ms Harteau's first remarks on the case, when she returned to work, she was critical of the officer who shot Ms Damond, but she also defended his training.

Councillor Linea Palmisano, who represents the ward where Ms Damond died, told fellow council members on Saturday (NZT) she was "done with image control and crisis management".

She says the department has systemic problems and it was time to consider a change in leadership.

The state is investigating the shooting. 


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