Australia demands answers over killing
CANBERRA, Australia — Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has on Wednesday confirmed his government will be demanding answers from US authorities about the killing of an Australian woman by police in Minneapolis at the weekend.
On Saturday night, Justine Damond, 40, was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor after she called 911 for assistance in relation to a suspected assault near her home.
She was unarmed and approached the police vehicle in her pajamas. The officers did not turn on their body cameras until after the shooting, and the squad car camera was also not activated.
Damond’s death sparked anger and a demand for answers both in the city and in her home country, where the shooting has been front-page news for days.
On Wednesday, speaking on Australian television, Turnbull said the government would pursue answers after something “clearly” went “tragically wrong”.
“We are seeking answers to this, this is a shocking killing. It’s inexplicable and out hearts go out to her family,” Turnbull told the Nine Network.
“How can a woman out in the street in her pajamas seeking assistance from the police be shot like that? It is a shocking killing and yes, we are demanding answers on behalf of her family. It’s a truly tragic killing in Minneapolis.”
Turnbull’s demands come after it was revealed that the officer who shot Damond had only been with the local police force for two years, and had previously received complaints about his service.
Also on Wednesday morning, around 300 of Damond’s friends and family members attended a silent vigil at Freshwater Beach in Sydney.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Damond’s fiance Don said that her family have been given “almost no additional information regarding what happened” after police arrived.
“We’ve lost the dearest of people and we’re desperate for information,” he said in Minneapolis.
Relatives and friends of Justine Damond, who was shot by a US police officer over the weekend, hold a vigil in Sydney on Wednesday.