Minneapolis Police Chief Harteau Resigns, Mayor Nominates New Chief

July 21, 2017 11:05 PM

In separate statements issued by the Minneapolis Police Department and the city, it was announced Police Chief Janee Harteau has resigned.

Shortly after the two statements were released, Mayor Betsy Hodges announced that she will nominate current Assistant Police Chief Medaria Arradondo as chief.


The announcement of Harteau's resignation came from the mayor's office at 5:48 p.m. Friday. At 6:33 p.m., Hodges announced she will nominated Arradondo as chief.

Harteau released a statement through the Minneapolis Police Department at 5:43 p.m.

Hodges is set to address the public at 8 p.m.

The resignation comes in the wake of the fatal officer involved shooting of 40-year-old Justine Damond.

RELATED: Timeline of Fatal SW Minneapolis Shooting

In the statement from the Minneapolis Police Department, Harteau said she was proud of the work the department accomplished under her leadership, but the recent officer involved shooting had, "caused me to engage in deep reflection."

"The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we've developed as a department," Harteau said in the statement. "Despite the MPD's many accomplishments under my leadership over these years and my love for this city, I have to put the communities we serve first." 

Harteau said she was willing to step aside and, "Let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be."

RELATED: Police Union President Calls Harteau's Resignation 'Right Move'

The statement released by Mayor Betsy Hodges office said the mayor requested Harteau's resignation.

In the statement, Hodges said she is pleased with how far the department has come under Harteau's leadership, but said she has lost confidence in the chief.

"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."

RELATED: Protestors Interrupt Mayor Hodges Press Conference after Resignation of Harteau

Hodges was set to speak at press conference Friday night, however, it was interrupted by anti-police violence demonstrators.

"We ask you for your prompt resignation," one demonstrator said. "We don't want you as our mayor of Minneapolis anymore. We ask you take your staff with you."

The demonstrator went on to say, "Your leadership has been very ineffective and if you don't remove yourself, we'll put someone in place to remove you ... Your police department has terrorized us enough."

Cheers came from the crowd as the man called for her resignation.  The crowd also chanted "Bye, bye, Betsy."

Multiple times Hodges was heard saying, "I hear and understand."

Hodges was forced out of the room, but returned later to address the media.

Hodges told the press she understood people's frustrations.

"This has been a particularly difficult and heartbreaking and challenging and awful week for the people of our city," she said. "I share people's frustration about the pace of change in policing and building community trust. Transformational change is difficult, it is uncomfortable, it takes time  and it is worth doing, because there is a better city and world on the other side of it."

While speaking to the press, Hodges said her request for Harteau's resignation was not directly linked to, "one particular incident."

This is an overall assessment about the state of the MPD and the direction we need to go," she said.

Hodges also spoke highly of Harteau's possible replacement, Arradondo, saying he will be able to implement change in the future.

"He's got a vision for how to move forward and he's got great relationships in the department," she said.

The announcement comes after a number of council members called for a change in leadership in the Minneapolis Police Department.

Council Member Jacob Frey, who represents Ward 3 and is himself a candidate for mayor this year, called for Harteau to step down Friday prior to the announcement.

"We need new leadership," Frey said at Friday's city council meeting. "We need a new chief."

Frey was asked by reporter Friday night if he felt the City Council would support Hodges appointment of Arradondo.

""I don't have a sense, really, I don't have that sense," he said.

Frey added he is hopeful that Arradondo will be able to bring change to the department.

Omar Jamal, a leader in Minneapolis' Somali community, said he was not surprised by Harteau's resignation and felt it could bring change within the larger community.

"This could be a new page of discussion and coming together and focusing on the behavior of the police department," Jamal said.

Below are the two statements issued by the Minneapolis Police Department and Mayor Hodges Office.

Resignation Statement from Chief Harteau:

Over the 30+ years that I’ve served as a police officer in the City of Mpls, moving up through the ranks to Police Chief, I have woken up every day knowing that this job is not about me. It is about the members of the communities that we serve and the police officers who protect our residents. I am proud of the great work the MPD has accomplished. For example, I am proud we are already a leader in 21st Century and community policing. However, last Saturday’s tragedy, as well as some other recent incidents, have caused me to engage in deep reflection. The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we’ve developed as a Department. Despite the MPD’s many accomplishments under my leadership over these years and my love for the City, I have to put the communities we serve first. 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.

I want to thank the countless community, business and law enforcement leaders that I’ve partnered with over the past three decades. Together we have built a department to be proud of through our accomplishments including MPD 2.0, our groundbreaking work with the National Initiative, Cops out of Cars, National Night Out Championships, Police Community Chaplains, the Police Community Support Team, increasing our overall department diversity, the Office of Justice Programs Assessment, Bike Cops for Kids, the Body Worn Camera program, Procedural Justice, the Chief’s Citizens Advisory Council, our Community Collaborative Advancement division, the Quality Assurance Division, the Mental Health Co-Responder program, the Leadership and Organizational Development Division and building sustainable relationships within the community.

My goal with MPD 2.0 was to leave the department better than when I became Chief, and I believe that we have.

It’s been an honor to serve the residents of Minneapolis and the officers of the Minneapolis Police Department

Statement from Mayor Betsy Hodges:

Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau tendered her resignation to Mayor Betsy Hodges this afternoon, which Mayor Hodges accepted.

"Janeé Harteau has served the Minneapolis Police Department and the people of Minneapolis for 30 years with vision, determination, and strength. She has overcome barriers and challenges that most of us can't begin to imagine to become one of the top law-enforcement officials in America in a male-dominated profession. She deserves everyone's thanks for her dedicated service.

"I've worked closely with Chief Harteau for three and a half years. In that time, we've done more, faster, to transform policing, public safety, and public trust than any other mayor, police chief, police department, or city in America, while putting the safety of our residents first and working hard every day to keep Minneapolis a safe city for everyone. I give Chief Harteau tremendous credit for taking on that body of work, and leading through all this change.

"As far as we have come, 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. For us to continue to transform policing — and community trust in policing — we need new leadership at MPD.

"In conversation with the Chief today, she and I agreed that she would step aside to make way for new leadership. I asked Chief Harteau for her resignation, she tendered it, and I have accepted it.

"We are not slowing the pace of our transformation. The work will continue until it is done — until justice, dignity, and the sanctity of life are reflected in every police encounter, and until everyone feels safe and is safe in One Minneapolis. We will not waver from that.

"This just means that the time has come for new leadership at MPD to get us where we all know we need to be."


Ben Rodgers

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