Australian Woman Shot Dead By Police After Calling For Help In Minneapolis

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junstinedamond

The shooting of an Australian mother by a police officer in Minneapolis was shocking considering the woman called 911 to report hearing a noise in her home. The shooting was not caught on video because the cop’s body camera was turned off.

Justine Damond was shot around 11:30 pm local time on Saturday. Minnesota’s public safety department said that her death by cop took place after two officers responded to a callout about a possible assault. Damond’s stepson said, “my mum was shot for reasons I don’t know,” expressing a sentiment of many. As is the case with most other police officer shootings, Damond’s family likely won’t ever get the justice they deserve either.

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Chalk memorials cover the street and sidewalks near the Minneapolis home of Justine Damond, who was shot and killed by police after calling for help.

Damond’s stepson, Zac Damond admitted that she had called police after hearing a noise near her house. “I just know she heard a sound in the alley so then she called the police and the cops showed up and she was a very passionate woman, she probably thought something bad was happening and then next thing I know they take my best friend’s life.”

“Two Minneapolis police officers responded to a 911 call of a possible assault just north of the 5100 block of Washburn Avenue S just before 11.30pm Saturday,” the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a statement, according to the Star Tribune. “At one point, an officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman. The BCA’s investigation is in its early stages. More information will be available once initial interviews with incident participants and any witnesses are complete … The officers’ body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident. Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists.”

Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said.  The police officers did not have a dashcam on either. No weapon was found at the scene. The two officers involved are on paid administrative leave.

The mayor of Minneapolis, Betsy Hodges, said she intended to find out why the officers’ body cameras were not turned on. “As mayor of our city, a wife, and a grandmother, I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by what occurred last night,” she posted on Facebook.

Nekima Levy-Pounds, a local civil rights attorney and police reform activist who is running for mayor of Minneapolis, expressed solidarity over Damond’s death. “We stand with the people of Australia in demanding justice for Justine Damond,” Levy-Pounds said. “Her death could have been prevented. Were it not for the increasing militarization of US police forces, she would still be alive today.” Levy-Pounds, who was a leading figure in protests against the police killings of Jamar Clarke and Philando Castile, said Damond was the latest casualty of a flawed system of policing.The tragic and senseless death of Justine Damond at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department illustrates everything that is wrong with our system of policing in the US,” she said.

Damond was a 40-year-old bubbly blonde from Sydney, Australia. She ran meditation workshops at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community. She was originally Justine Ruszczyk, but was using the name of the man she was due to marry in August, Don Damond, the local Star-Tribune reported. This story bears horrifyingly striking similarities to that of the police shooting in Seattle – in which a pregnant mother was killed after she called the police for help.

Damond’s stepson said she was “passionate” and his best friend. Hopefully, a bystander was able to catch the murder of Justine Damond on video.

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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.

Dawn Luger is a staff writer and reporter for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up – follow Dawn’s work at our Facebook or Twitter.

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