MINNEAPOLIS - Authorities have released the transcripts of the 911 call 40-year-old Justine Damond made to Minneapolis Police that set into motion a sequence of events that ended with her being fatally shot by a responding officer.
The conversation with a Minneapolis Police dispatcher at 11:27 p.m. Saturday night reads as follows.
Operator: 911, what’s the address of the emergency?
Caller: Hi, I’m, I can hear someone out the back and I, I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped.
Operator: Give me the address.
Caller: 5024 Washburn Avenue South.
Operator: Washburn Avenue South. You said it’s behind (inaudible)?
Caller: And there’s a (inaudible) out the back, yup, yup. And I think she just yelled out “help,” but it’s difficult the sound has been going on for a while, but I think, I don’t think she’s enjoying it. I think it’s, I don’t know.
Operator: Okay, well I already got a call started and help on the way. Uh, you can’t see anything, you’re just hearing a female screaming then, is that what you’re saying?
Caller: Yeah. It sounds like sex noises, but it’s been going on for a while and I think she tried to say help and it sounds distressed.
Operator: Okay, I’ve already got an officer on the way. What is your name?
Operator: JUSTINE, what’s your last name?
Operator: And a phone number?
Operator: Okay, we’ve already got help on the way. If anything changes before we get there just give us a call right back, but officers should be there soon.
Operator: Okay, not a problem.
Just over eight minutes later Damond called 911 again, concerned that officers had not arrived.
Operator: 911, what is the address of the emergency?
Caller: Hi, I just reported one, but no one’s here and was wondering if they got the address wrong.
Operator: What’s the address?
Caller: 5024 Washburn Avenue South. It supposed to be Washburn Avenue South.
Operator: Are you JUSTINE?
Caller: Yeah, (inaudible).
Operator: You’re hearing a female screaming?
Caller: Yes, along behind the house.
Operator: Yup, officers are on the way there.
Caller: Thank you.
Operator: You’re welcome, bye.
A Minneapolis squad arrived moments later, and shortly after that Officer Mohamed Noor fired across the police car across his partner and through the driver's side window, fatally striking Damond. Noor's partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, spoke to agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) for four hours, giving his version of the events that led to Damond's death.
Harrity said after driving up he was startled by a loud noise, Damond approached his window and then Noor fired across the squad, fatally wounding her.
Noor himself has refused to interview with investigators so far.
KARE 11 asked retired Minneapolis police officer, and current police trainer, Michael Quinn to look through the transcripts.
"You really want to know what the audio was after the event," he said. "What are these officers saying to each other?"
And why did Noor draw his gun?
"There's a loud noise," Quinn said. "What does that mean? ... It doesn't give you any reason to not only not shoot, but to not even have your gun out."
And Quinn says given the timing and the nature of the 911 call, "a woman coming up on your car in her pajamas on a call like that is as likely to be the victim of the assault as she is to be the complainant."
On Wednesday, Governor Dayton spoke for the first time about Damond's death.
"Horrible tragedy. .I placed a call to Mr. Damond and the Australian Consulate in Chicago," said Dayton. "I think the BCA is doing all it can, as rapidly it can."
He addressed the lack of body camera footage during the shooting, saying the Legislature should revisit police body camera policies.