Gov. Dayton Calls Minneapolis Officer-Involved Shooting 'Horrible Tragedy'

July 19, 2017 01:44 PM

Gov. Mark Dayton called Saturday's officer-involved shooting that killed Justine Damond in Minneapolis a "horrible tragedy." 

At a press conference Wednesday, Dayton said he's been in touch with the 40-year-old Damond's fiance and the Australian consulate in Washington.

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He called for the Legislature to consider a statewide policy on body camera use. The body cams of Officer Mohamed Noor, who fired the deadly shot, and his partner, Matthew Harrity, were turned off at the time of the incident. 

Dayton said he has met with the Public Safety commissioner and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the agency handling the investigation, twice to get updates on the shooting.

He made a plea for anyone who might have seen the shooting or have information to come forward because it would be "an important contribution" to the BCA's investigation.

Dayton said the BCA is doing the best it can, but that not a lot of evidence or information is available.

He said he was told Harrity's interview with the BCA lasted more than four hours, calling it "extensive." 

Dayton was also asked about other officer-involved shootings, such as those that killed Philando Castile and Jamar Clark. 

He said the cases aren't exactly the same, but he urged the Legislature to explore better training.  

"I have very deep regrets every time I see Minnesota portrayed in a less-than-positive light," he said.

Dayton added that while training is key, officers are "entitled" to their decisions, as they patrol day and night and are put in situations that are "incident specific."

However, he said a "blanket training" program might not encompass all the scenarios officers could encounter where they have to make a split-second decision.

Dayton added, "Trigger-happy isn't appropriate term to describe Minnesota law enforcement." 

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Theresa Malloy

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