MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau says Justine Damond "didn't have to die."
Harteau made the statement Thursday evening, speaking for the first time since Officer Mohamed Noor shot and killed Damond Saturday night. Harteau says she came to that conclusion based on the publicly released information from the Minnesota BCA.
"On our squad cars you will find the words 'To protect with courage and serve with passion.' This did not happen," Harteau said. "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."
She added these were the actions and judgments of one individual.
"I want to ensure Justine's family, our community and those in Australia that I will do everything in my power to make sure due process is followed and justice is served," she said.
Harteau says she was backpacking in the mountains and wasn't able to easily return, hence the delay in her speaking to the public about the shooting.
Harteau not only fielded questions about why it took so long for her to get back from her personal time off, but the ongoing discussion about the department's body camera policy.
"It is my belief the body cameras should have been activated. My expectation is that body camera policy is followed ... and those cameras should be on," Harteau said.
Harteau added Officer Noor completed his police academy training "very well and deserved to be on the street."
Harteau says she has not had contact with Officer Noor but said she'd prefer he speak with the BCA about what happened.
"There are questions only he has the answers to," Harteau said.