Statement by Mayor Betsy Hodges about conclusion of MPD internal investigation

Earlier today, Police Chief Janeé Harteau announced the findings of MPD’s Internal Affairs use-of-force review into the officer-involved shooting of Jamar Clark on November 15, 2015. I encourage everyone to read the text of the Chief’s announcement, the detailed overview of the major MPD policies consulted as part of the use-of-force review, and the extensive summary of the many (but by no means all) progressive policing and public-safety initiatives that we are undertaking in the Police Department, all at http://insidempd.com/iainvestigation. I hope you will do so.

It is important to note that we waited to make this announcement until Chief Harteau and Jamar Clark's family could meet, which happened just Friday afternoon.

I fully support the Chief's determination in this case that Officers Schwarze and Riggenberg did not violate city policies. I trust the thorough process that the department followed, and I trust Chief Harteau’s judgment. I know her dedication to the safety and dignity of every person in this city and every officer in this department.

This has been an especially painful time for Jamar Clark's family and friends. I cannot imagine their pain as they lost a son, a brother, a friend. I extend my condolences to all for their grief.

This has also been a painful time for the two officers and their families: to them I also offer my hope for healing.

This has been a painful time for our entire community, as well. I know that some will be angry about this decision and find it difficult to accept, and I get that. I know some will find relief in it; I get that, too. 

Chief Harteau and I are making ourselves available tonight on a conference call that anyone can join, so that we can listen to whatever people want to say and want us to hear.

Through this painful 11 months we, the people of Minneapolis, have done what we do best: we held together. We kept talking to each other, through anger, frustration, and fear. I thank all the community members and leaders, residents, demonstrators, and police officers who in countless ways kept the conversation going peacefully and respectfully, and helped hold us together as a city and a people.

We can ask no less of ourselves now as, together, we continue to move forward with the challenging, uncomfortable, necessary work of transforming our police-community relationships to a new level of trust for the 21st century. I am proud that no city in America is working as hard on this transformation as we are, or putting more resources and sheer will behind it as we are. This is Minneapolis’ strength: coming together as our best selves, through our differences and our discomfort, for the good of us all.

Published Oct 21, 2016

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