Australian Justine Damond was shot dead this Saturday by police in Minneapolis, after dialing 911 due to noises around her house. This is one of the latest killings by police in the US, adding to the already 500+ death toll by police hands so far in 2017. This puts this year’s number of killings by police in the US well on track for their annual, apparent goal of making that into a four figure number.
From The Guardian:
US police officers have shot dead an Australian woman who reportedly called 911 after hearing a noise near her home in Minneapolis.
Minnesota’s public safety department said a woman was shot in Minneapolis after two officers responded to a callout about a possible assault on Saturday at 11.30pm local time. The police officers did not have their body cameras turned on.
The woman has been named as Justine Damond, who ran meditation workshops at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community. Damond, originally Justine Ruszczyk, used the name of the man she was due to marry in August, Don Damond.
From the Star Tribune:
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. No weapon was found at the scene.
“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 11:30 p.m. Saturday,” the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said in a news release. “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.”
Australian and other countries’ media are dubbing the current situation, rightly, as American Nightmare, and as we’ve written before, tensions are building around the uncontrolled violence that US police and law enforcement are exhibiting.
The Star Tribune has also published the name of the officer responsible for shooting an unarmed woman in pyjamas, through the door of his patrol car:
The Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed a 40-year-old woman in the alley behind her home Saturday night has been identified as Officer Mohamed Noor. Meanwhile, state investigators have confirmed that they did not find any weapons at the scene.
Noor, 31, joined the department in March 2015 as the first Somali police officer to patrol the 5th Precinct in southwest Minneapolis, according to a city newsletter. He holds a degree in Economics and Business Administration from Augsburg College. Before joining the department, he worked in property management in commercial and residential properties in Minneapolis and St. Louis, Mo.
British newspaper Daily Mail summarizes nicely, and in a fitting, more direct manner:
Shot dead in her pyjamas: Australian woman, 40, is gunned down by a cop whose body camera was TURNED OFF in an alleyway behind her house after she called 911 to report an ‘intruder’
- An Australian woman has been shot dead by police in South Minneapolis, U.S
- Justine Damond called 911 on Saturday night to report a possible assault nearby
- Police say: ‘At one point one officer fired their weapon, fatally striking a woman’
- Sources claim Ms Damond was wearing her pyjamas when she was shot dead
- When a police patrol car arrived in the alley she approached and was the shot
- The 40-year-old from Sydney was engaged to an American man and lived in US
- She used her fiance’s surname as well as going by the name Justine Ruszczyk
- Her soon-to-be stepson Zach Damond has slammed police for killing his mother
- ‘Mum’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,’ he said