Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was shouted down by protesters after she tried to hold a news conference in the wake of the resignation of Police Chief Janee Harteau.
You can watch the video below. In it, Hodges stands silent at a podium as protesters shout that she has lost her effectiveness, and they don’t want her to serve as mayor anymore.
The dramatic showdown occurred on July 21 as tensions are boiling over the police shooting of Australian spiritual healer Justine Damond by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor.
Harteau quit as police chief on July 21 at the request of Hodges, who released a statement saying she supported the chief’s resignation.
“I’ve lost confidence in the chief’s ability to lead us further,” Hodges said in a statement. “And from the many conversations I’ve had with people around our city, it is clear that she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well.”
That didn’t stop the protesters, who shouted down Hodges’ press conference to announce a new police chief.
Damond was shot by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault. As of July 21, Noor had declined to give an interview to state investigators. His partner, Matthew Harrity, told the state that he heard a loud noise right before Noor fired. Damond had approached the police vehicle and was carrying a cell phone; dispatch audio shows there were reports of aerial fireworks in the area that night.
Hodges released a statement announcing the nomination of Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo as police chief. She also said she won’t resign.
She also released a statement on the resignation of Harteau.
Police-community relations in Minnesota have been heightened for some time over last summer’s police shooting death of Philando Castile, who was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a traffic violation; Castile told the police officer that he was legally permitted to carry a firearm, but a jury acquitted the officer in Castile’s death. The Castile shooting became a focal point of national protests against the police. A friend and co-worker of Castile led the protest against Hodges, according to The Guardian.
Castile was killed by a St. Anthony, Minnesota police officer, not a Minneapolis officer. Castile’s mother has just reached a $3 million settlement with that city.
Mayor Hodges had spoken out early and vocally in the more recent Damond shooting, expressing concern about the death, as well as the fact the officers did not have their body cameras turned on.
Read more about Damond’s shooting here: