Mayor: Fatal shooting of woman 'should not have happened'

Mayor: Fatal shooting of woman 'should not have happened'

MINNEAPOLIS - The mayor of Minneapolis said Thursday that even though the investigation is far from complete, the fatal shooting of a woman by a Minneapolis police officer "should not have happened."

"The fact that we don’t have body camera footage of the shooting could be the result of one or more of the following: a gap in our body cams policy, a gap in training, a violation of our policy, or some combination of these things," Mayor Betsy Hodges said in a blog post. "I am confident I speak for everyone when I say it’s unacceptable that we don’t have this tool available to us in this case." 

The body camera, as well as the police squad's dash cam, were not on when Officer Mohamed Noor shot 40-year-old Justine Damond, after she called 911 twice to report a sexual assault. 

"We have put too much time, money, and effort into (body camera) to have them fail us when we needed them most," Hodges wrote. "That cannot happen again."

Noor has declined to be interviewed by BCA agents who are handling the investigation. His partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, told investigators he was driving into the alley behind Damond's home with their lights off when they heard a loud noise. Immediately afterwards, Damond appeared at the driver's side window, Noor then reached across Harrity and fired his weapon, striking Damond in the stomach, according to Harrity's statements. She died at the scene. 

Neighbors, friends and community members have planned a "march for healing" for the Australian woman set for Thursday evening.

The event invites members of the community to meet at her house for a candlelit walk about a half-mile to a lakefront park.

According to the Facebook event page, the march plans to honor both Justine, as well as all those killed by police. 

The group received some backlash for wording it used to describe the event, but later made changes and issued a statement. 

"The neighbors of Justine organizing this event feel strongly that this space be one that honors not just Justine, but ALL of those who have been killed by police in our city," the description states. "They are learning as they go how to express that intent, recognizing the failure of impact implied by the language of "walk." Lives lost to police violence deserve a MARCH, deserve justice, deserve recognition of the systemic racism and white supremacist culture that kills."

© 2017 Associated Press


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