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Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges Will Not Resign In Wake Of Justine Damond Shooting

The calls for her resignation come after Police Chief Janee Harteau steps down.

22/07/2017 9:45 AM AEST | Updated 23/07/2017 7:36 AM AEST

Minneapolis Mayor Besty Hodges has resisted calls to step down as anti-violence protesters stormed her speech during a media conference on Saturday.

It comes after Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau resigned amid widespread scrutiny following the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of unarmed Australian woman Justine Damond.

While Harteau's decision to step down came at the behest of the city's Mayor Betsy Hodges, protesters chanted "Bye, bye Betsy" and "Messy Betsy", calling for her own resignation and forcing Hodges to bring the press conference to a halt.

One activist, John Thompson, called out Hodges' leadership as "ineffective".

"Your leadership has been very ineffective, and if you don't remove yourself, we're going to put somebody in place to remove you!" Thompson said.

"Your police department has terrorised us enough! You don't want to hear us, so hear me now -- we do not want you as the Mayor of Minneapolis and we ask you to resign!"

Despite the heated calls, Hodges later returned to resume the press conference saying she shares frustration with the people of Minneapolis.

"I am happy to sit down with folks and talk about the future of policing -- this is a tough time for the community. This is a tough time around the world for policing," she told reporters.

"I will not be resigning ... it is understandable to me that people's frustration is high, I share that frustration.

"I will continue to say to the Australians, to you, what I've been saying all week, which is this is awful and heartbreaking, I send my condolences."

Damond was shot dead by junior officer Mohamed Noor after she phoned 911 late last Saturday night, local time, out of concern for a suspected sexual assault in an alleyway behind her house in the major Minnesota city.

Handout . / Reuters
Justine Damond was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis.

Hodges issued a statement on Saturday in response to Police Chief Janee Harteau's resignation saying she had lost confidence in Harteau's ability to lead the Minneapolis police force.

"It is clear she has lost the confidence of the people of Minneapolis as well," Hodges said.

"For us to continue to transform policing -- and community trust in policing -- we need new leadership at MPD."

Hodges appointed Assistant Chief Medaria "Rondo" Arradondo as the new Police Chief at a media conference Friday evening, U.S. time, to replace former Police Chief Janee Harteau.

In a statement following her resignation, Harteau said the incident did not reflect the procedures that her department had put in place.

"I have woken up every day knowing that this job is not about me. It is about the members of the communities that we serve and the police officers who protect our residents," she said.

"I am proud of the great work MPD has accomplished.

"However, last Saturday's tragedy, as well as some other recent incidents, have caused me to engage in deep reflection. The recent incidents do not reflect the training and procedures we've developed as a department.

"I've decided I'm willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be."

Harteau's decision to resign follows the tragic death of 40-year-old Damond and questions around how such an incident could have occurred on Harteau's watch.

Harteau was away from her post in the days following the shooting, and finally spoke out on Friday saying she had been on personal time.

Meanwhile, a witness who was in the vicinity when Damond was fatally shot is cooperating with authorities investigating the killing, according to US media.

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