Partner Of Aussie Woman Shot Dead In The US Speaks

A crowd gathers to remember Justine Ruszczyk
A crowd gathers to remember Justine Ruszczyk Jeff Wheeler | Star Tribune via AP
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19 July, 2017

The mayor of Minneapolis demanded answers on Sunday after an Australian woman was shot and killed by a police officer in the city, having apparently reported a disturbance outside her home.

The two officers that responded to the scene are on administrative leave.

Local TV station Wcco identified the officer who fired his weapon as Mohammed Noor, who joined the force in 2015 as the first member of the state's sizeable Somali immigrant community to become an officer in Minneapolis' fifth police district, where the shooting occurred.

She had called the police to report a suspected sexual assault near her home, her fiancé Don Damond told reporters outside the home.

In the wake of the incident, it was revealed that the officers did not have their body cameras turned on, and the squad camera "did not capture the incident". The meditation teacher and bride-to-be was killed by an officer who reportedly fired his weapon from the passenger seat of a squad vehicle. He has two open complaints, from 2017 and 2016. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is now investigating the incident and noted that they are still in the early stages.

Damond, who had taken her fiance's surname before their planned wedding next month, ran her meditation workshops at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, which paid tribute in a Facebook post.

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"This woman was a lovely light, she was a healer, she was loved, she should be alive - she should still be here", said a friend of Justine's.

The newspaper reported that Justine Damond's website says she "originally trained as a veterinarian" and "has also studied and practiced yoga and meditation for over 17 years, is a qualified yoga instructor, a personal health and life coach and meditation teacher, embracing and teaching the neuro-scientific benefits of meditation".

"Sadly her family and I have been provided with nearly no additional information from law enforcement regarding what happened after police arrived", Damond said.

Nearly two days after her death, police have still offered no public explanation and referred questions to the state's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which was investigating. "And we want to remember Justine tonight, and call for answers, but we want just to remember and respect Justine, tonight, and her family, and share our love for her family, and how much we want to wrap our support around them".

Bicking said he favored a policy in which there would be less officer discretion for when the cameras should be turned on and off. Citing three sources the paper didn't name, it said Damond was the one who called 911. Harteau says she's asked that the process be expedited to provide transparency. "Justine was one of the most loving people you would ever meet. we can't even imagine LHSC with out her".

Police said an officer fatally shot a woman after responding to a 911 call received at around 11:30 p.m. "This is a tragedy-for the family, for a neighborhood I know well, and for our whole city". She also talked about how quantum mechanics can be used to heal the spirit and "change your life".


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