Woman ‘did not have to die’

Waikato Times Weekend - - WORLD -

UNITED STATES: The head of the Min­ne­ap­o­lis Po­lice De­part­ment says that Aus­tralian woman Jus­tine Da­mond did not have to die.

Min­ne­ap­o­lis Po­lice Chief Ja­nee Harteau cut short her leave to re­turn to the city where the Aus­tralian woman was gunned down by an of­fi­cer on Satur­day (lo­cal time).

Ad­dress­ing a press con­fer­ence, she said she had spo­ken to s Da­mond’s griev­ing fi­ance Don and as­sured him a full and fair in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the shoot­ing would take place.

‘‘I will do everything in my power to make sure due process is fol­lowed and jus­tice is served,’’ she said.

‘‘Jus­tine did not have to die, based on the pre­lim­i­nar­ily re­leased in­for­ma­tion from the Bureau of Crim­i­nal Ap­pre­hen­sion, this should not have hap­pened.

‘‘On our squad cars you will find the words: ‘To protect with courage and serve with com­pas­sion.’ This did not hap­pen.’’

She told the me­dia that, while she was proud of the de­part­ment’s cur­rent train­ing prac­tices, the of­fi­cers Mo­hamed Noor and Matthew Har­rity should have been us­ing their body cam­eras.

‘‘My ex­pec­ta­tion is that our pol­icy is fol­lowed,’ she said. ’’It is my be­lief that the body cam­eras should have been ac­ti­vated.’’

Of­fi­cer train­ing is un­der re­view as Min­ne­ap­o­lis res­i­dents and Da­mond’s fam­ily strug­gle to understand why Noor shot her at close range af­ter she made a 911 call to re­port a sus­pected as­sault be­hind her home.

‘‘I can­not imag­ine the im­pact this has had on Jus­tine’s fam­ily,’’ the po­lice chief said.

‘‘This has had a neg­a­tive im­pact on the com­mu­nity trust we have built.’’

The shoot­ing has led to claims the Min­ne­ap­o­lis Po­lice De­part­ment’s of­fi­cers are ‘‘trig­ger happy’’, but the chief said Of­fi­cer Noor’s ac­tions did not in­di­cate a sys­temic prob­lem.

‘‘We are talk­ing about one in­di­vid­ual’s ac­tions in ques­tion,’’ she said. ’’The death of Jus­tine should not have hap­pened.’’

Harteau added her voice to the many who have urged Noor to speak to in­ves­ti­ga­tors about the shoot­ing in an al­ley­way be­hind Da­mond’s home.

Da­mond’s fam­ily have in­di­cated they may take le­gal ac­tion against the City of Min­ne­ap­o­lis af­ter the death of the 40-year-old yoga teacher who was not armed when she was shot.

The lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the fam­ily, Robert Ben­nett, has dis­missed claims the of­fi­cers were star­tled by a loud noise im­me­di­ately be­fore Da­mond was shot by Noor, who was sit­ting in the pas­sen­ger seat of his squad car.

‘‘She ob­vi­ously wasn’t armed, was not a threat to any­one, and nor could she have rea­son­ably per­ceived to be,’’ he said.

- Fair­fax

Ja­nee Harteau

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.