Minneapolis Mayor Shut Down by Protesters Returns to Speak to the Media

July 21, 2017 10:09 PM

Demonstrators called for Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges' resignation during a press conference she was holding to address the abrupt resignation of Police Chief Janee Harteau.

Hodges was eventually forced out of the room, but returned later to speak to the press.


Before being forced out of the room, Hodges spoke about Harteau's five years of service as chief and her sudden resignation late Friday afternoon.  She also spoke about the nomination of Medaria Arradondo as chief. The resignation of Harteau and criticism of Hodges comes days after the fatal shooting of Justine Damond.

RELATED: Minneapolis Police Chief Harteau Resigns, Mayor Nominates New Chief

Hodges spoke for three minutes before demonstrators interrupted the press conference by shouting that she resign.

"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."

The shouting and yelling continue while Hodges remained at the podium for at least five minutes. Hodges eventually left the room as tensions from the demonstrators intensified.

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

Some thirty minutes later, Hodges returned to the same podium to address the media.

Hodges was fielded a question regarding the protesters demands that she resign, which she replied, "I will not be resigning."

While speaking, Hodges said she understood people's frustration.

"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.


Ben Rodgers

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