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Goyette writes: "New audio has emerged of the moments around the fatal US police shooting of Australian spiritual healer and meditation coach Justine Damond in a Minneapolis alley."

A photo of Justine Damond from her web site. The Sydney, Australia, native lived with her fiance in the Fulton neighborhood of Minneapolis. (photo: Stephen Govel)
A photo of Justine Damond from her web site. The Sydney, Australia, native lived with her fiance in the Fulton neighborhood of Minneapolis. (photo: Stephen Govel)

Minneapolis Cops Kill Again, This Time It's a White Woman

By Jared Goyette, Guardian UK

18 July 17

Father calls for justice after meditation coach was shot dead by Minneapolis police who had been responding to her 911 call for help

ew audio has emerged of the moments around the fatal US police shooting of Australian spiritual healer and meditation coach Justine Damond in a Minneapolis alley.

The officers are heard communicating with their dispatcher over the police radio, including calling for backup and their attempts to perform CPR on Sydney-raised Damond.

“Shots fired ... we have one down,” one of the officers says.

Damond’s death in the alley outside her Minneapolis home just before midnight on Saturday has devastated and outraged family, friends and left the Minneapolis community upset about the latest police shooting in their city.

Her partner, Don Damond, said he was being kept in the dark about the incident.

“Sadly, her family and I have been provided with almost no additional information from law enforcement regarding what happened after police arrived,” Don Damond told reporters outside their home in suburban Fulton on Monday local time.

“We have lost the dearest of people and we are desperate for information.”

He said Damond’s death was a loss to everyone who knew her.

“Our hearts are broken and we are utterly devastated by the loss of Justine,” he said. “It is difficult to fathom how to go forward without her in my life.”

Her father spoke to reporters in Sydney on Tuesday and called for justice.

John Ruszczyk said that his daughter “was a beacon to all of us.” He then asked that “the light of justice shine down on the circumstances of her death.”

Ruszczyk said Damond was special to so many people. He said his grieving family went to a local Sydney beach on Tuesday morning and “saw the blackness change to light.”

The police audio was posted on the Minnesota Police Clips website.

Damond, 40, called police after hearing a possible sexual assault taking place in an alley behind her Minneapolis home in what has been described as the safe, middle-class neighbourhood of Fulton.

The police audio begins with the description of a “female screaming behind the building”, believed to be what Damond told the dispatcher in her initial 911 call.

Damond, dressed in her pyjamas, reportedly approached the driver’s side window of the police car when it arrived in the alley and an officer shot across his partner at Damond more than once from the passenger seat.

Nancy Coune, the office administrator at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Centre, where Damond taught a meditation class every Tuesday, said the centre’s members were still reeling from the news.

“We’ve come together. We’re teetering back and forth between tragic heart sick to outrage, to trying to understand it, to really knowing that there is a greater purpose and that at some point we will come to terms with this ... people are struggling here,” she said.

Coune said that Damond had arrived at the centre about three years ago and asked to rent a space. A veterinarian surgeon by training, she was interested in the intersection of spirituality and neuroscience. She would teach in the centre’s small sanctuary while sitting on the floor, wearing bright sun dresses or jeans with knee-high boots.

One of her students, Jay Peterson, 50, said that Damond had been through her fair share of hardship, and had lost her mother when she was young. Peterson said that Damond told him she had struggled with depression, but got into yoga and meditation and turned her life around. That experience that helped propel her to become an instructor.

“She really got enthusiastic about helping people have their own breakthroughs, helping people wake up,” Peterson said.

When asked about Damond’s personality, several people at the centre responded with the same question. “Have you heard about the ducks?”

On 30 June, three weeks before she died, Damond was walking to her mediation class when she saw a group of ducks trapped in storm drain near a lake. She happen to be wearing one of her dresses that day and told Coune in a text message.

“Guess what I just rescued 8 ducklings… The mother duke was distraught and I climbed and pulled them all in my skirt…. There was this moment when I think they realized I was there to help and they just started jumping to my lap, I was in bliss!”

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, described as a fact-finder independent of Minneapolis police, is investigating the shooting and confirmed Damond was not carrying a weapon.

Damond may have been holding a mobile phone, which was reportedly found near her body.

“BCA crime scene personnel located no weapons at the scene,” BCA said in a statement on Monday. “The BCA continues to examine evidence to determine the facts that led to the shooting incident.”

The Hennepin county Medical Examiner’s Office has conducted an autopsy on Damond but the results have not been released.

Formerly Justine Ruszczyk, Damond took her fiance’s surname ahead of next month’s planned wedding.

The BCA confirmed the officer and his partner’s body cameras were not turned on and their police car dashboard camera did not capture the incident. The Minneapolis mayor, Betsy Hodges, told reporters she has “a lot of questions why the body cameras were not on”.

Lt Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation representing officers, said “the federation has decided to reserve all comment until case completion in the matter”.

Teresa Nelson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, said the officers violated police policy by not turning on their body cameras.

“This violation of policy thwarted the public’s right to know what happened to Ms Damond and why the police killed her,” Nelson said.

“The two officers broke the policy not only when they didn’t activate the body cameras before the incident, but also when they failed to do so after the use of force.”

The Washington Post reported Damond is one of at least 524 people fatally shot by police in the US this year and and the fifth in Minnesota.

The Minneapolis-St Paul area is still reeling from the acquittal last month of a police officer who shot dead a man, Philando Castile, during a traffic stop while Castile’s girlfriend livestreamed the horrifying incident.

Violent protests also flared after two officers fatally shot 24-year-old Jamar Clark in 2015 and were not charged. your social media marketing partner


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+9 # John of Milpitas 2017-07-18 18:02
Okay, this is getting out of hand. Now we got black cops shooting white women? Just a wake up call folks for those thinking that the people of color must have been in the wrong. (I know it's not humorous)but you could be next. Since the cops were in the car, probably not facing the "suspect," the body cameras probably wouldn't have shown anything useful. Didn't another Minneapolis cop (happened to be black also) just shoot and kill two service dogs that a surveillance camera showed that at least the second dog was wagging it's tail?
+5 # Femihumanist 2017-07-18 18:39
My guess, since we only have audio after the shooting:

Cops propositioned her; she said she was going to turn them in; Bang Bang
0 # Femihumanist 2017-07-19 19:57
Now they ae saying, they got a call about a disturbance and drove into a dark alley without turning the cars webcam on. They heard a loud bang as she approached the car and got scaredy scaredy. They shot the woman in the PJs. Why did they not assume she was the one being raped (that the call was purportedly about).

I still think my original guess was more likely.
-1 # pmargaret7 2017-07-20 13:20
That's your guess? Would have never occurred to me. Hadn't the police been called to that area and that was why they were there? Isn't murder a bit dire for the possibility of being turned in for propositioning a lady? One thing for sure - cell phones should no longer be black or dark-colored, even if it has to be made a law. Too many shootings are (purportedly) because a cell phone was mistaken for a gun! Cell phone companies need to lead the charge and people with dark phones can buy light-colored covers. Done!
+1 # John S. Browne 2017-07-20 21:23

Seriously? They shoot people for having shiny looking objects in their hands, too! And many guns are metallic, non-black, chrome or silver in color, which they shoot people for holding as well! It used to be that when they shot somebody like this, and found out they didn't have a weapon, they carried extra, unregistered guns for that purpose, and would plant them on, or in the vicinity of, the deceased. Now they just say "I thought they had a weapon" and "I was in fear for my life", and that's all it takes to supposedly absolve them! They didn't used to be absolved in such cases unless it was covered up, or people who did not have weapons "mysteriously" ended up with them. Now, because there is supposedly all of this (non-police) "terrorism" in the U.S., they are always, or almost always, absolved of unprovoked and unnecessary killings (aka, murders); and yet, there is very little so-called "real" terrorism in the U.S., except that which is being increasingly "perpetra(itor) ed" by the police. "Serve and Protect", or "Protect and Serve", my rear end! We are being murdered more and more by police for being innocent!

+49 # Michaeljohn 2017-07-18 18:40
So what's the basic training for Minneapolis cops? If it moves, toward you or away from you and may have anything in its hand, shoot to kill?
This isn't a horrible mistake .. these guys are either snivelling cowards or murderers.
+15 # John S. Browne 2017-07-18 23:48

How 'bout both?

+16 # Texas Aggie 2017-07-19 06:57
Training is irrelevant. When you start out with sadistic, authoritarian bullies who enjoy making other people suffer and have no compunction about killing people, no amount of training is going to make any difference. They are the same thing as vicious canine fear biters.

The only solution is to weed out the misfits at the very beginning. Do extensive psychological testing and if there is even a sliver of a doubt that they are suitable, they get rejected.
+7 # John S. Browne 2017-07-19 08:32

The problem is they DO do psychological testing looking for all the things you list, but they WANT those traits in officers. They don't want true public servants or good guys who completely obey the law and respect the rights of all members of the public, all of whom are supposed to be presumed innocent. No, they want officers who presume people guilty and who put their own safety above the safety of the public. In other words, they WANT fascists. They want officers who treat EVERYONE as a suspect, except of course for all those few who are falsely considered to be known "upstanding members of the community", the fascist judges, their minions, other government employees, and those who blindly and extensively support the police and the government, etc.

They want sick, evil people who are part of the evil "old boy network", who do what they're told even if, and no matter how much, it is illegal. They want officers who violate the rights of most citizens, and who treat them like, or as potential, criminals; because, increasingly, we are all considered to be such, especially if we write the truth like I'm doing now, stand up for rights, and stand up against all of this rising totalitarian fascism taking over the U.S., the West and the world. They ONLY want good little slaves who bow down, or enforce for them, without question. They don't want liberty-and-fre edom-minded independent thinkers who will not allow themselves to be slaves, but defend everyone's rights.

-1 # Femihumanist 2017-07-21 16:00
Quoting Michaeljohn:
This isn't a horrible mistake .. these guys are either snivelling cowards or murderers.

Slightly off-subject, but why is "coward" used as an insult? I think it's a virtue. Think of a world in which all healthy young men were cowards. No wars, no fights, no gangs, PEACE!!
+48 # Ken Halt 2017-07-18 19:34
This incident is too bizarre! It will be interesting to see how the killing of an unarmed white person will be handled. Shots fired on arrival, much like Tamir Rice. From the passenger seat through the driver's window. No weapon found. Too bizarre, and another example of US police state tactics: shoot first, ask questions later!
+36 # John S. Browne 2017-07-18 19:50

The lesson? Since cops cannot be trusted anymore at all, NEVER approach a police car; because, if you have a cellphone in your hand, which most people often do, they will assume you have a weapon and shoot you dead. They'll never seek to ascertain first if all it is is a cellphone or something else non-lethal; but will instead, in violation of the supreme law(s) of the land, the U.S. Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, presume you "guilty" and to be a "lethal 'threat'" to the officers. Everyone is considered a suspect now, except of course police officers, who are afforded the right of presumption of innocence while all other, and the majority of, people are presumed "guilty". And police are not presumed to be suspects either, even when they murder innocent people in cold blood as in this case.

Does anyone, other than cops, not see this as totally backwards? The MAJORITY of human beings should be presumed innocent, NOT increasingly murderous cops who are in the minority. Why are they given preferential treatment? They are NOT better than other people; in fact, more and more they are being found, if most of them weren't long if not always such, to be professional criminals who usually get away with their crimes time and again. They will usually, if they are ever charged in the first place, be found "not guilty", because most jurors are brainwashed that cops are usually the "good guys", and are afraid of becoming targets for revenge if they find them guilty.

0 # John S. Browne 2017-08-01 22:24

And let's not forget about people reaching in their pockets as they approach a police car, which they also often do to pull out their I.D. and/or cellphones (force of habit). The cops shoot people dead, and have done so again and again, for doing that too, like holding things that supposedly "look like guns (or some other 'weapon')". Me thinks it is actually difficult not to continue to carry out this force of habit, and/or to stop one's self from doing it, especially because of the desire to voluntarily hand the police their I.D. figuring the cops are going to ask for it anyway.

So, the further lesson is, if you can control yourself from doing so, and you're going to approach a police car, whatever you do DON'T reach for ANY pocket(s) and/or have ANYTHING in your hand(s)! NOTHING! Nada! ZILCH! Anything whatsoever! Period! No, because of our rights, we shouldn't at all have to condition ourselves to not do these things when interacting with the cops; but, today's reality, and self-preservati on, make it a necessity. Unless of course we rather condition ourselves to NEVER approach a police vehicle, or ANY officer(s) for that matter, which is undoubtedly the better way to go; unless you absolutely have little or no choice, but me also thinks that many if not most instances of our believing that we "have (little or) no choice", are actually not truly the case. Better safe than sorry; and, if one is under threat from a pursuer, the cops are likely a graver threat.

+22 # davehaze 2017-07-18 20:08
The answer is simple. She came at them armed with a duckling so one of the cops shot her.

The problem is police are trained to fear all civilians to fear everything to regard everyone as the enemy to think that every object is a weapon pointed at them.

Though the worst fear of a cop is that his partner is an idiot and that if the idiot shoots someone he will have to perjure himself in court for this idiot because he has no choice. If he does not he will be vilified and forced from the police department.
+30 # elkingo 2017-07-18 20:46
What is it with the cops in this country? How can it be brought to an end?
+16 # Texas Aggie 2017-07-19 07:01
There is a good chance that it cannot be brought to an end. Look at all the juries, both grand juries and regular juries, that have let murdering cops walk. When there are so many people who think that cops should be allowed to kill just because, then we are really and truly screwed.
+41 # Sunflower 2017-07-18 21:07
Country is obviously going nuts! Seriously unnecessary violence, again and again.

Does this have anything to do with the militarism of our culture? Celebrating killing people in other countries? Thinking that the only way to solve anything is to shoot people?

Also, the fact that our country has been steadily killing people overseas for many years must certainly have the effect on
at least some people of totally disregarding others' lives.

It's terribly sad, and totally unnecessary!

I'm a grandmother and am glad my grandchildren are not growing up in the US-- how's that for an indictment of our
+33 # dotlady 2017-07-18 21:08
Another outrage - a nervous, scared cop who can shoot a gun but not think. What was he imagining??? They knew a woman called and it was at night - why shouldn't she be in pajamas. Did they assume she was the attacker - that she was a nut? I can't grasp this at all. I hope the shooter, and his companion if he urged the shooter on, is put away for a looong time.
+13 # andyseles 2017-07-18 22:10
My prayers and condolences to the family. Yes, Sunflower, this is the police state "new normal." It's been a long time coming and we are one major incident away from martial law. Everything is in place: the NDAA, all the hand-me-down military equipment, a disgruntled public and an oligarchy desperate to hang on to their ill-gotten gain and, yes, led by President "Buzz Windrip."
+10 # John S. Browne 2017-07-19 09:02

With all of those things, particularly the 2012 NDAA, the "U.S.A. 'P.A.T.R.I.O.T. ' Act", etc., we are already essentially under un-publically-d eclared martial law. The government is already coming after innocent, liberty-and-rig hts-minded citizens more and more, and seeking to scare them out of continuing to stand up for freedom, liberty and rights; and, though everyone is monitored by massive computers, those liberty-and-fre edom-minded citizens, the majority of whom are nothing but non-violent, are being even more extensively monitored as those who are supposedly the "threat"; when, in truth, it is the government that is out of control and that is the threat, not true, non-violent patriots who don't accept this increasingly Orwellian, totalitarian state of affairs, as it is their DUTY, and the duty of all (TRUE) Americans, to not accept, including the minions for the authorities. But, no, all, or the vast majority, of those minions believe all of the lies and the brainwashing, and believe that all those who fulfill their duty(ies) to preserve and protect TRUE Freedom(s) and Liberty(ies) are the perceived "threat". Thus, we're all thoroughly fracked if "We the People" don't succeed in turning this around, if it isn't already (far?) too late.

+14 # krallison 2017-07-19 00:47
Seems like the police in this country now have an armed forces approach to policing. They are always 'afraid,' even of slim blonde women so they just need to blow them away.

Other than mass firings of police and starting again with sensible teaching I cannot see how to solve this.
+10 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-07-19 08:30
Once the US cops start shooting white folks too, you know it’s a vicious, fascist police state.
+9 # Adoregon 2017-07-19 10:11
Message: Don't call the fu*king police.

No matter what is happening, they only make things worse.
+11 # Sunflower 2017-07-19 10:12
Here's a suggestion: Any cop who kills someone, under any circumstance, gets fired. I'm pretty sure that would bring
down the level of ``fear'' police claim
when they shoot someone. And make us
all safer.

Remember, we are the ones paying their salary. Time to take control of this situation!
+5 # boomerjim 2017-07-19 13:01
Now that it's w White person, many Whites will take notice, unlike when it has been minority individuals who have been killed by cops.
It's a shame because it will make us less safe, but it is becoming clear that the populace cannot trust the police in many locales and will stop reporting possible crimes, stop communicating with the police, not approach police if they don't have to, and refuse to speak to police canvassers.
This will interfere with police work. Although there will be pressure on local administrations , as well as state and federal, those who most need to take responsibility are cops themselves and stop protecting hasty shooters among them.

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