Janee Harteau served the Minneapolis Police Department with integrity throughout her career. I worked closely with her when she was the First Precinct Commander and was impressed with her leadership and responsiveness. However, it has become clear after recent events that a leadership change at the department was warranted. I believe the Chief made the right choice to step aside, but we cannot allow her resignation to be the sole response to the unrest in our community. Deep and transparent reforms must be made at the Minneapolis Police Department that create a broad shift in its culture and the way in which it interacts with and is experienced by our citizens.
We must demand a review of our training and recruitment practices to ensure that all our citizens feel safe in all of their interactions with the police. We must demand a strengthening of our body camera policies to ensure that if a critical incident occurs, we have the evidence necessary for a complete and thorough investigation. We must demand a police force that protects our citizens, establishes accountability and engenders trust.
This is more than a political issue to be managed. The deep mistrust that is on display by so many in our community cannot simply be papered over with staff changes. This is a crisis that begs for real, experienced leadership and sustained change at City Hall.