Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s statement on videotaped comments

Monday, December 18, 2017

I want to publicly apologize to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. I was wrong to discuss the agency’s work on the Justine Damond case in a public setting. On Saturday, I apologized personally to Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman.

In my nearly 40 years in public office, I have always thought it was my responsibility to talk to my constituents when they approach me and explain what I was doing and why. That’s what I did at a holiday gathering of the Minneapolis AFL-CIO when three people asked me a question about the officer-involved shooting.

However, in doing so, I was wrong to discuss both the agency’s work and what discussions we are having internally at the county attorney’s office. The other mistake I made is not being aware that they were secretly recording our , obviously without my permission.

Nonetheless, my comments, under any circumstances, were ill advised and I am sorry.

Secondly, I’d like to address the concerns of Justine Damond’s family and citizens everywhere, who may be surprised and unhappy that no charges have yet been filed in this case.

Know this: No one cares more about justice in this matter than I do. Investigators and members of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, including me, have been working nonstop to gather all evidence, follow every lead and bring this matter to a resolution. Police cases, however, are very complex. They demand the most thorough and complete investigations possible. While some clamor for swift justice, only careful, detailed work and careful analysis brings us real justice.

That is what this case deserves and that is what it will get.

We will share more news about the status of our charging decision next week.

Until then, we will have no further comments.