Australian Justine Damond 'didn't have to die'

Posted July 22, 2017

Justine Damond's devastated Australian family are poised to file a massive civil lawsuit in the U.S. courts against the City of Minneapolis and the police officer who shot her dead.

As they drove down the alley in their police auto, Harrity heard a loud sound that startled him, the officer told state investigators.

The Minneapolis Police Department outfitted its officers with body cameras a year ago. Police officials say that neither officer's body camera was turned on, and the cruiser dashcam did not capture the interaction between Damond and the officers.

"We're talking about the actions of one individual", Harteau said. She says the department is examining its policy on cameras, including technological advances that turn them on automatically.

Harteau has not previously commented on Damond's death, having been out of town on a personal trip until recently.

"There are questions that need to be answered and he's the only person who has those answers", she said.

"In the meantime, we ask that you give us time to grieve in private and to support each other at this very hard time". One of the officers involved told police he was startled by a loud noise near his squad vehicle shortly before Damond approached it.

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They also want any and all political prisoners to be released. "But these seven million people spoke, and it was plenty". Clashes between protesters and police have left at least 93 people dead , 1,500 wounded and more than 500 behind bars.

Harrity's lawyer on Wednesday left open the possibility that the officers had feared an ambush, telling the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper that a similar scenario had recently played out in NY. Officers are required to activate their cameras in more than a dozen situations, including whenever they use force.

In a statement, the Ruszczyk family said they hoped to bring Justine home to Sydney's northern beaches "to farewell her in her hometown among family and friends".

Mr Bennett told Reuters that the family want to wait until the incident has been investigated before deciding whether to launch a civil lawsuit.

Officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor arrived on the scene a short time later.

"An officer should have them on and that is what we are trying to identify", Chief Harteau said.

There is no known video footage of the shooting. Her fiancé was comforted by the mother of Philando Castile, who was shot and killed in St. Paul, Minnesota, by police in July 2016.

Her fiancee, Don Damond, has described her death as a "homicide" and is demanding a federal investigation into her death. She had called 911 to report what she believed might be a rape taking place behind her home. Noor, who is Somali-American, has declined to be interviewed.

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"We don't have all the answers", Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said at a news conference last night.

The family of the unarmed woman shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer hired a top Twin Cities attorney to represent them. Noor's attorney, Thomas Plunkett, did not respond to interview requests from The Associated Press.

Several criminal law professors who spoke to the AP said it would be unusual if Noor had his gun out when officers were checking out a report of a potential assault.

Scores marched from the site where a woman was fatally shot by police to a park near Lake Harriet on Thursday, demanding justice for the woman and victims of other police shootings.

In Castile's case, Minnesota's governor and family members called for a federal investigation, and residents called for changes during city meetings. However, he may be compelled to give a statement to his employer that won't be used in court.

That statement can not be used against him in any criminal investigation.

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