Newspaper article

Minneapolis Officials Back Police Chief Harteau's Limited Comments on Friday Events

Newspaper article

Minneapolis Officials Back Police Chief Harteau's Limited Comments on Friday Events

Article excerpt

The job of a cop and the job of a reporter can put the two professions in frequent conflict, as recent events in Minneapolis show.

Reporters want answers and they want them now, while cops don't tend to care much about news deadlines as they work on finding the facts and getting things right, rather than getting them first.

We have seen this scenario play out in the days following Friday's events, which resulted in two deaths and two wounded police officers in Uptown.

Cops conduct investigations that must stand up in a court of law, and if that takes a few extra weeks or a few extra months, then that's what it takes.

On Monday, following the Police Department's awards ceremony, reporters circled Police Chief Janee Harteau with cameras and recorders at the ready and asked if there were any developments in the investigation into Friday's events.

She declined to comment, saying that she did not want to take the focus off the accomplishments of the department's honored sworn and civilian employees.

The reporters pushed. She stood firm and then excused herself for a photo session with the award winners.

In Harteau's absence, the Police Department's new communications spokesperson, Cyndi Barrington, explained that the investigation was not complete and that the department was not ready with answers.

Reporters also pushed her for answers but also got nowhere.

This left some grumbling about Harteau's performance during her first big test of leadership ability in tough times.

Despite critics, her bosses couldn't be happier with Harteau's performance. They are pleased that she is not rushing to the microphone before she has her facts in hand.

At a news conference on Wednesday, she shared very little new information but did acknowledge that a police vehicle went through a red light, colliding with a motorcyclist, killing him. …

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