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Witness to Minneapolis shooting comes forward; Police chief asked to resign

MINNEAPOLIS — State investigators say they’ve interviewed a witness who was near the alley where a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed an unarmed Australian woman last weekend.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release Friday that the person was bicycling nearby just before the shooting and stopped and watched officers perform CPR on Justine Damond late on July 15.

The Star Tribune  reports that an unnamed source with direct knowledge of the investigation said the witness filmed part of the encounter. It doesn’t say whether that includes the actual shooting or only the aftermath.

Damond, a 40-year-old spiritual healer from Australia who lived in Minneapolis, had called 911 to report hearing a possible sexual assault happening in the alley behind her home. Authorities say Officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot her as she approached his squad car.

Minneapolis police Chief Janee Harteau resigned Friday at the request of Mayor Betsy Hodges, who said she lost confidence in the chief.

Harteau said was “willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes” be in charge of the department.

She and the police force are facing criticism in the wake of last weekend’s fatal police shooting of 40-year-old Justine Damond, an unarmed Australian woman who had called 911.

Harteau worked her way up from the bottom of the department to become the city’s first female, first openly gay and first Native American police chief.

She said Friday that she was honored to serve as chief, but that she must “put the communities we serve first” despite the department’s accomplishments under her leadership.