Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau on Thursday called the shooting death of Justine Damond “unnecessary” and bluntly said it contradicted the mission and training given to her officers.Nope. Don't look at us fine folks at the MPD. Harteau was just getting warmed up:
“Justine didn’t have to die,” Harteau said.
In her first public appearance since the Saturday shooting, Harteau said that based on what is publicly known about the case, there is no justification for officer Mohamed Noor’s decision to shoot Damond.
“Based on the publicly released information from the BCA, this should not have happened,” Harteau said, referring to a preliminary investigative report released earlier in the week. “On our squad cars, you will find the words ‘To protect with courage and serve with compassion.’ This did not happen.So I guess Noor is on his own. Watch carefully, though:
“I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers. These were the actions and judgments of one individual,” she said.
Harteau’s news conference, attended by several members of the Australian media, ranged over topics from Noor’s training to Harteau’s absence from Minneapolis since the shooting. Harteau said she did not know Noor well, and had spoken to him only in passing, but that he “absolutely” performed well during training. She dismissed claims from critics such as former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who on Wednesday called Noor, who is Somali-American, “an affirmative-action hire.”Hmmm. The message, none too subtle, is Noor screwed up. Yet "he was very suited to be on the street?" How does that work?
“This is about an individual officer’s actions. It is not about race or ethnicity,” Harteau said. “We have a very robust training and hiring process. This officer completed that training very well, just like every officer. He was very suited to be on the street.”
Sometimes the body cameras are operating. In those cases, we see the MPD shooting dogs:
Body camera video from a Minneapolis police officer who shot and seriously wounded two dogs in a residential backyard not only shows the best view yet of the animals’ temperament and movements during the encounter, but the officer is heard moments later apologizing to a sobbing resident while declaring his love for dogs.You can watch the video at the link if you're so inclined.
The shootings on the night of July 8 behind the home in the 3800 block of Queen Avenue N. also were captured nearly in their entirety on residential surveillance video, which Jennifer LeMay, the dogs’ owner, posted on Facebook, quickly leading to hundreds of thousands of views.
Do we have any conclusions? Not yet, although it's possible to surmise MPD officers have their fingers on the triggers quite a lot. Around here, we shoot first. The asking questions later bit drags on for a while.