Mayor forces police chief to step down, her job may be next
Police Chief Janne Harteau Mayor Betsy Hodges

A search warrant reveals 40-year-old Justine Damond (née Ruszczyk) was shot to death after she “slapped” the back of a patrol car. The search warrant notes that, after Damond slapped the patrol car, “the female became deceased in the alley.”

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension executed the search warrant in the area where Damond was killed on Saturday, July 15, according to Minneapolis Public Radio.

Damond was shot to death by suspended police officer Mohamed Noor after she emerged from a dimly-lit alleyway and slapped the back of the patrol car, presumably to let officers know of her presence or to keep them from leaving.

Damond was shot after she called 911 to report a possible rape behind her upscale home at about 11:30 pm. She left her home to flag down the police car after the officers drove down an alley about a block past her house.

The driver of the squad car, rookie cop Matthew Harrity, said he heard a “loud bang” before Damond approached the driver’s side window from the rear of the vehicle.

Still, Harrity told a police source he did not view Damond as a threat when he rolled down the window to speak to her. But his partner, Noor, leaned across Harrity and fired multiple times through the open window, striking Damond once in the abdomen.

Noor and Harrity are on paid administrative leave.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has come under fire since the shooting death of the well-liked Australian faith healer and yoga instructor.

Police Chief Janeé Harteau resigned from her position on Friday after returning from a hiking trip in the Colorado mountains.

Harteau, who was named police chief in 2012, made headlines in 2013 after she tied the knot with her longtime girlfriend, Sgt. Holly Keegle. They divorced a year later and Harteau blamed her job for their failed gay marriage.

Harteau was heavily criticized for posting vacation photos on her Facebook page in the chaotic days since Damond was killed. She returned to Minneapolis nearly 5 days after Damond died.

There have been calls for Mayor Hodges to step down as well, but she refuses to resign.

Mayor Hodges was shouted down by protesters while announcing the resignation of the police chief during a news conference on Friday.

“You have failed us since you’ve been in office!” yelled one man. “We do not want you as our mayor!”

“We want you to take your staff with you because they have terrorized us enough,” the man yelled.


“I have heard you, and I have listened,” said the mayor before she was escorted out of the room for her own safety.

“Bye, bye Betsy,” the angry crowd chanted as the mayor was escorted out.

Mayor Hodges, who is non-Muslim, once wore a hijab to a press conference (pictured above), and she has been quoted as saying Muslims are a “persecuted community” that needs “special consideration”.

On Thursday hundreds of people marched through the streets of Minneapolis to the spot where Damond was killed in the Fulton neighborhood.

Among the demonstrators outside Damond’s house during the Peace and Justice March for Justine was Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile.


Noor, a Somali-born immigrant, graduated in 2015 from a fast-tracked, seven month cadet training program designed for applicants who already have a college degree.

He was paid $20 an hour while in training. His pay was bumped up after he graduated.

Noor’s large family complain that his fellow officers are not supporting him. He reportedly told a friend that he was “thrown under the bus” by his colleagues.

The Minneapolis police union has also declined to defend Noor publicly.

Before resigning from her position on Friday Police Chief Harteau said Noor did well in his training.

“We have a very robust training and hiring process,” Harteau said during a news conference on Thursday.

“I’ve been told by the training officers, he did well. There was no indication there would be any issues. He was very suited to be on the street.”

The former police chief will not be missed. She butted heads frequently with the mayor and members of the City Council.

In 2013, she argued against her police officers carrying body cameras.

On Thursday she said those same body cameras should have been turned on when Noor and Harrity responded to Damond’s 911 call.

For days following Damond’s death, reporters asked where the police chief was.

According to Star Tribune writer Jon Tevlin, their inquiries were “met with silence, or vague answers that she was on previously booked ‘personal time’ and ‘out of state.'”

No one mentioned the word vacation, he wrote.

He added: “I sincerely hope she enjoys her next trip. I just wouldn’t recommend Australia right now.”