Chief: Australian shot by police office 'didn't have to die'

MINNEAPOLIS -- Five days after the police shooting of Justine Damond in south Minneapolis, Police Chief Janee Harteau has spoken publicly for the first time, CBS Minnestoa reports.

Harteau has been out of town since Saturday's shooting, but returned to work on Thursday.

The Australian native was shot to death by a Minneapolis police officer Saturday night, after she called police to get help for a woman she thought was being attacked in an alley near her home. She then dialed 911 to make sure authorities were responding to the correct address, CBS Minnesota reports. Damond was shot as she came up to the squad's driver side window, by Officer Mohamed Noor.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is conducting the investigation. Harteau said she's asked that the process be expedited to provide transparency.

Harteau has been under growing pressure to speak out about her department's officer involved shooting, with some in community questioning why she wouldn't cut her vacation short and return with answers. Harteau addressed reporters just after 5 p.m., saying she was backpacking in the mountains, making it very difficult to return sooner. She said she had spoken with Damond's fiance Don on Thursday morning.

Though she defended Noor's training, Harteau says the shooting "did not have to happen" and that Noor's actions "go against who we are in the department."

"Justine didn't have to die. Based on the BCA information, this should not have happened. We're talking about the actions of one individual," Harteau said.

Harteau also said the body cameras, which were not on at the time of the shooting, should have been activated. Likewise, squad car cameras did not capture what happened.

Noor's partner, Matthew Harrity, told investigators that he and Noor heard a loud noise immediately before Damond approached the squad car.

The police chief was told by Damond's fiance that people are scared to call 911 following the deadly incident, CBS News' Jamie Yuccas reports.

The police chief is working to regain the community's trust at this point and the chief reassured Damond's family that she will do everything in her power to make sure justice is served for Damond, Yuccas reports.

Noor has been on the force for 21 months, while Harrity has been an officer for one year.

Damond, 40, was a yoga teacher and meditation instructor. Originally from Australia, she was slated to be married next month.

Earlier this week, Harteau called Damond's death "clearly tragic." She said that she, like the rest of the public, was awaiting answers as to what happened Saturday night.

CBS Minnesota also obtained a statement from Noor's attorney, Tom Plunkett. He says Noor has no plans to talk with investigators.

Noor could still be forced to if police ordered a "garrity" -- where an employee can be ordered to give a statement.

Plunkett said he will ask for a coroner's report from an outside lab on Damond.

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