Janee Harteau never actually says the name "Jamar Clark" in a video the Minneapolis Police Department published Thursday afternoon. But it's clear the police chief is referencing Clark, a black man who was shot and killed by Minneapolis cops last fall, when she makes a pointed plea to the city's activist set.
We all have, and value, our rights, Harteau says. But let's not ruin things for everyone else, and let's not throw things at each other.
"We understand that an upcoming legal decision has the potential to cause some tension and angst in and around our city," Harteau says. "As we plan for the [Hennepin] County Attorney's decision, whatever that may be, I would like members of our public to know, public safety is always our number-one priority."
At that moment, the video statement cuts to clips of the Fourth Precinct police station protest, which lasted weeks, and led to allegations of excessive force levied against both sides. Protesters said cops were too quick with the trigger on their pepper-spray, and two women sued the department for injuries sustained there.
Police contended they were under siege, literally, with protesters hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails over the walls of the precinct grounds. Harteau's video has first-hand footage of one such mini-bomb dropping in front of the building. (Another clip of the same moment indicates that police quickly responded by aiming a few rounds, presumably of the "less-than-lethal" variety, in the direction of the cocktail thrower. )
"We will enforce the laws of Minnesota, and the ordinances of the city of Minneapolis," Harteau says. "And anyone who violates them will be held accountable."