Hodges: 'I am Heartsick and Deeply Disturbed' by Officer-Involved Shooting

July 16, 2017 11:32 PM

At a press conference to respond to Saturday's fatal officer-involved shooting in southwest Minneapolis' Fulton neighborhood, Mayor Betsy Hodges said she was "heartsick and deeply disturbed" by the incident that left a woman dead.

"I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by the fatal officer-involved shooting last night that happened in southwest Minneapolis," Hodges said. "I know the neighborhood well; for eight years I was a council member there and I know what a tight-knit community it is, a tight-knit neighborhood where people know each other and know each other well."

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RELATED: BCA Says Officer-Involved Shooting in Minneapolis Started With Report of Possible Assault

Hodges and Assistant Police Chief Medaria Arradondo held the conference early Sunday evening. Hodges urged the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to release as much information as is possible in a timely manner without compromising the investigation.

"It is now the policy of the Minneapolis Police Department that it not investigate itself in serious officer-involved cases like this," Hodges said.

In a release Sunday, the BCA says the officers' body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident, which occurredon the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South. Hodges said she hopes and anticipates questions about why the body cameras weren't activated will be answered soon.

The victim's identity and official cause of death will be released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office. 

Digital Extra: Mayor Betsy Hodges' Full Press Conference on Saturday's Officer-Involved Shooting

Meanwhile, residents held a vigil Sunday evening in the Fulton neighborhood near the site of the shooting, where neighbors spoke fondly of the victim. The rally was organized via the Women's March Minnesota Facebook page.

In a post to the Women's March page, the victim's stepson, identified as Zach, said in video, "Basically, my mom is dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don't know. And I demand answers." 

In the video, the victim's son said his mother called police after hearing a sound in the alley.

RELATED: Minneapolis Police Body Cam Video Use Appears Low

"She thought something bad was happening, and the next thing I know they take my best friend's life," he said.

More than 100 people attended the vigil, which often resembled a rally for justice. 

At the City Hall press conference, Hodges said she's working closely with an MPD team and the city attorney's office to ensure everyone is on the same page and can be responsive to the media and community.

But Hodges said that few facts are available currently, and called on the BCA to release information.

KSTP requested Minneapolis police data that shows how often officers are turning on their body cameras. Reports from March showed of the nearly 500 officers assigned to wear body cams, the average hours of uploaded video per officer for the entire month was between five and six hours of video. 

The full text of Hodges' statement issued prior to the press conference Sunday:

Late last night, an officer-involved shooting occurred in the 13th ward, following a 911 call that two Minneapolis police officers responded to on the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue South. Tragically, a woman was fatally shot when one of the officers discharged their weapon.

Immediately following notification of this incident, Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo contacted the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The BCA has been, and continues to be, in the lead investigating this officer-involved shooting incident. There are still many questions about what took place, and while the investigation is still in its early stages, I am asking the BCA to release as much information, as quickly as they are able to.

My understanding, from the BCA's initial statement, is that the officers' body cameras were not turned on at the time of the incident and the squad camera did not capture the incident. I intend to learn more.

As Mayor of our City, a wife, and a grandmother, I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by what occurred last night.

My thoughts are now with everyone affected by this tragic incident, especially the deceased woman and her family. The City will continue to provide updated information on this incident, and the BCA's investigation, as soon as we have it.

Stay tuned to KSTP.com for more information.   

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