Australian woman who called 911 shot dead by Minneapolis police

Cheryl Sanders
July 17, 2017

She is said to have gone to the driver's-side door and talked to the officers through the window.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, an officer in the passenger seat of the squad auto that responded to the call shot across the driver's seat and struck 40-year-old Justine Damond while she spoke with them.

Last Wednesday, Minnesota's KSTP TV published an investigation indicating Minneapolis police officers aren't using body cameras as much as they should.

Her stepson, Zach, claimed on Facebook it was Damond who made the emergency call after hearing noises outside their Fulton home.

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called on the BCA to share the details of the shooting as quickly as possible.

"I just know that she heard a sound in the alley, so she called the police, and the cops showed up", he said.

"I know the neighborhood well", said Ms Hodges, who represented the area for eight years as a City Council member, The Star Tribunereported.

Assistant Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo confirmed that the body camera program is fully implemented in Minneapolis but Arradondo wouldn't say why the cameras didn't work.

The state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting, which occurred in an alley between Washburn and Xerxes avenues south on the 5100 block.

She had training as a veterinarian and ran meditation workshops.

Both officers are now on standard administrative leave.

"I think it's a systemic thing", she said.

The friend told The Star Tribune the woman worked as "a spiritual healer", remembering her as "the most loving woman". "The City will continue to provide updated information on this incident, and the BCA's investigation, as soon as we have it".

"Due to our privacy obligations we will not provide further information", the DFAT statement said. The officers were wearing body cameras, but they were not turned on during the incident, he added.

Authorities have not released the woman's name and are waiting to notify her relatives in Australia.

Plans to outfit Minneapolis police officers with body cameras were put into place following the fatal police shooting a year ago of Jamar Clark, which sparked weeks of protest in Minneapolis, and heightened concerns nationwide about police use of force.

More than 300 people gathered for a vigil on Sunday evening near the site of the shooting.

"I am happy to have known Justine and her untimely, tragic death is a reminder to live life fully, love deeply, and take risks to love as we are not promised tomorrow".

"My mom is dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don't know, and I demand answers", he said.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is providing consular support to the family of an Australian woman killed in the US.

Alison Monaghan, who trained Ms Damond in alternative therapies, described her as "the most attractive person" who was "all about giving to other people".

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