Aussie woman killed in Min­neapo­lis po­lice shoot­ing

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

De­tails about what led a Min­neapo­lis po­lice of­fi­cer to fa­tally shoot an Aus­tralian woman re­mained un­clear yes­ter­day, with au­thor­i­ties say­ing only that of­fi­cers were re­spond­ing to a 911 call about a pos­si­ble as­sault when the woman was shot. As au­thor­i­ties con­tin­ued to in­ves­ti­gate, the woman’s fam­ily mem­bers re­leased a state­ment yes­ter­day through Aus­tralia’s De­part­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade, say­ing: “We are try­ing to come to terms with this tragedy and to un­der­stand why this has hap­pened.”

Min­neapo­lis au­thor­i­ties have not re­leased the woman’s name. The Star Tri­bune iden­ti­fied her as Jus­tine Da­mond, 40, from Syd­ney, Aus­tralia. The news­pa­per re­ported that she was en­gaged to be mar­ried and had al­ready taken her fi­ance’s last name. Her maiden name was Jus­tine Ruszczyk. The Bureau of Crim­i­nal Ap­pre­hen­sion re­leased a state­ment Sun­day say­ing two Min­neapo­lis of­fi­cers re­sponded to the call late Satur­day. At some point, an of­fi­cer fired a weapon.

The Star Tri­bune, cit­ing three peo­ple with knowl­edge of the shoot­ing, said Da­mond had been the one to call 911 about a pos­si­ble as­sault in the al­ley be­hind her house. The three peo­ple, who were not iden­ti­fied by the news­pa­per, said two of­fi­cers pulled into the al­ley in a sin­gle squad car. Da­mond, wear­ing pa­ja­mas, stood at the driver’s side door and talked to the driver. The news­pa­per’s sources said the of­fi­cer in the pas­sen­ger seat shot Da­mond through the driver’s side door. Po­lice re­ferred ques­tions to the BCA. A spokes­woman for the agency did not re­turn mes­sages seek­ing to con­firm that ac­count.

Body cams off

Of­fi­cials said the of­fi­cers’ body cam­eras were not turned on and that a squad car cam­era did not cap­ture the shoot­ing. In­ves­ti­ga­tors were still try­ing to de­ter­mine whether other video ex­ists. It’s not clear why the of­fi­cers’ body cam­eras were not turned on. The de­part­ment’s pol­icy al­lows for a range of sit­u­a­tions in which of­fi­cers are sup­posed to do so, in­clud­ing “any con­tact in­volv­ing crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity” and be­fore use of force. If a body cam­era is not turned on be­fore use of force, it’s sup­posed to be turned on as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Some 50 friends and neigh­bors gath­ered in a semi­cir­cle Sun­day af­ter­noon near where Da­mond died, with many more look­ing on from the side­walk and street. Chalk hearts were drawn on the drive­way pad. Da­mond had re­lo­cated to Min­neapo­lis. Her web­site ad­ver­tised ser­vices in­clud­ing per­sonal health and life coach­ing, as well as work­shops for busi­nesses.

Zach Da­mond, 22, said she was en­gaged to marry his father, Don Da­mond, in Au­gust, al­though she had al­ready taken his name. “Ba­si­cally, my mom’s dead be­cause a po­lice of­fi­cer shot her for rea­sons I don’t know,” Zach Da­mond said. “I de­mand an­swers .” Min­neapo­lis Mayor Betsy Hodges vis­ited the scene, in a part of the city she once rep­re­sented on the City Coun­cil. She said was “heart­sick” and “deeply dis­turbed” by the shoot­ing.

“There are still many ques­tions about what took place, and while the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is still in its early stages, I am ask­ing the BCA to re­lease as much in­for­ma­tion, as quickly as they are able to,” she said in a state­ment Sun­day.— AP

Jus­tine Da­mond

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.