Minneapolis Police Chief Says Damond 'Didn't Have to Die'

July 20, 2017 10:58 PM

Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau said Thursday that Justine Damond should still be alive.

In her first public comments since an officer fatally shot Damond Saturday night in south Minneapolis after the Australia native had come out to speak with officers following her own 911 call to report a possible sexual assault, Harteau said - based on the information that has been publicly released - the incident should not have happened.

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"Justine didn't have to die," Harteau said. "Based on the information that has been publicly released by the BCA (Bureau of Criminal Investigation), this should not have happened.

RELATED: 911 Transcripts: Damond Called Twice to Report Possible Rape

"On our squad cars you'll find the motto 'To protect with courage, to serve with compassion.' This did not happen."

Harteau had been out of town on previously-scheduled time off. She said she was backpacking in the mountains and the remoteness of her location made it more difficult to get back.

Despite that, though, she said was in "constant communication" with those back here.

"I might not have been here physically for a few days," she said. "But I'm always the chief."

Harteau also said - based on the information she has - the officers involved in the incident should have had their body cameras turned on per department policy.

That was not the case Saturday.

"My expectation is that our policy is followed," Harteau said. "Based on the information the BCA has released, and without knowing additional information as to why they weren't on, they should have been on."

Credits

Frank Rajkowski

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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