“What good is a camera if it is not being used when it may be needed the most?” Minneapolis’ acting police chief, Medaria Arradondo, said during a Wednesday press conference. “We want our body cameras to accurately depict an event no matter what the circumstances are for the sake of the officers, for the sake of our community.”
As previously reported, Damond was killed in Minneapolis after calling to report “a possible assault” near her home. According to reports, two officers responded to the 911 call and pulled into an alley near Washburn Avenue S. around 11:30 p.m. Damond approached the police vehicle in her pajamas to speak to the driver, but was struck dead when the passenger pulled out his gun and shot her through the driver’s door.
Police have been killing unarmed U.S. citizens for quite some time, but as others have noted, the response to this particular incident—the shooting death of a white woman by a Black officer—has been overwhelmingly different. Media acknowledge Damond as a human. City mayor Betsy Hodges asked chief of police Janeé Harteau to resign upon losing “the confidence of the people.” Officer Mohamed Noor, the first Somali police officer to patrol the 5th precinct in southwest Minneapolis, was actually somewhat held accountable.
“We are not casting judgment on a single officer, nor are we looking at a single event,” Arradondo, who took over as the city’s acting police chief after former Chief Janeé Harteau was forced to step down, said.” We are responding to our communities and to recent ongoing assessment. We need to build and regain our community’s trust. That is my charge, and I’ve expressed that to all of our officers ― that body-worn cameras are a tool. It’s not everything but it’s a tool.”
Watch the press conference above.