Attention to the police shootings of recent years has finally found a scapegoat in Janeé Harteau. Her resignation as Minneapolis police chief on Friday at Mayor Betsy Hodges’ behest signals one of two things: an attempt at changing the culture of the Minneapolis Police Department to a more restrained response, or a political move swiftly and deftly dealt by the mayor in an attempt to eke out a win in a re-election campaign that is looking bleaker by the day.
So what part of the police shootings are actually the chief’s fault? There are several ways to look at this question.
The “buck stops here” philosophy soundly places the “blame” for the shootings on the desk of the chief, since the controversial Minneapolis shootings happened on Harteau’s watch. While none of these shootings to date has been found to be illegal or even improper, the community is unconvinced, and she was still the head honcho. (The fatal shooting of Justine Damond this month by officer Mohamed Noor has all the earmarks of an accident, which again, with the “buck stops here” philosophy, would be the chief’s responsibility.)