Protesters interrupt Hodges’ press conference on Harteau resignation

“We do not want you as the mayor of Minneapolis, and we are asking you to resign,” said the man who first interrupted Hodges’ conference.

Protesters interrupt Mayor Betsy Hodges' press conference on the resignation of Minneapolis Police Department Chief Janeé Harteau.

Bella Dally-Steele

Protesters interrupt Mayor Betsy Hodges’ press conference on the resignation of Minneapolis Police Department Chief Janeé Harteau.

Minnesota Daily Staff

Protesters overtook a room packed with journalists Friday evening where Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges held a press conference to discuss Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau’s resignation earlier that day. 

Hodges’ address began as a synopsis of the day’s events, including an announcement of Harteau’s resignation and the selection of her interim replacement, Assistant Chief Medaria “Rondo” Arradondo. Minutes into the address in Hodges’ City Hall office, a man in the crowd shouted over Hodges and called for her resignation.

After rallying outside city hall, about 100 protesters entered the building and filled the conference room.

“We do not want you as the mayor of Minneapolis, and we are asking you to resign,” said John Thompson, friend of shooting victim Philando Castile. He and fellow protesters also denounced Interim Chief Arradondo as a superficial but insubstantial new leader.

Protesters soon joined in with Thompson, echoing chants of “Bye, bye, Betsy,” before they took the podium from Hodges. They carried banners and posters alike, chanting “No justice, no peace” and “resign” until Hodges’ speech was drowned out. Hodges later left the room, and protesters took to the podium.

The group took turns at the microphone voicing concerns over city policy and insisting that Hodges and the entire City Council be replaced. Grievances ranged from misuse of police body cameras in the shooting death of Justine Damond July 15 to dissatisfaction with the timeline of the city’s recently passed $15 per hour minimum wage ordinance. 

Approximately 20 minutes passed after the protesters interrupted Hodges before they left the mayor’s office of their own accord, leaving her to continue her address. 

As of 8:52 p.m., Hodges had not resumed her press conference.

A previous version of this story misspelled Janeé Harteau’s first name.