And Again

[Content Note: Police brutality; guns; death.]

Over the weekend, 40-year-old Justine Damond, a white woman, was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis after calling them to report what she thought was a sexual assault in an alley behind her home.

When police arrived, she "reportedly approached the driver's side window of the police car when it arrived in the alley and an officer shot across his partner at Damond more than once from the passenger seat."

She was wearing pajamas and was not carrying a weapon.

However, she "may have been holding a mobile phone, which was reportedly found near her body." That raises the possibility that the officer mistook her mobile for a weapon, which would not be the first time someone was killed by police holding a mobile, despite the fact that mobiles are now ubiquitous and many people gesture while holding their phones as second nature.

But we don't yet know for sure, because the statements of the involved officers have not been made public. And their body camera footage cannot be made public because it doesn't exist: The officers' cameras were not turned on, in violation of protocol.
The BCA confirmed the officer and his partner's body cameras were not turned on and their police car dashboard camera did not capture the incident. The Minneapolis mayor, Betsy Hodges, told reporters she has "a lot of questions why the body cameras were not on."

Lt Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation representing officers, said "the federation has decided to reserve all comment until case completion in the matter."

Teresa Nelson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, said the officers violated police policy by not turning on their body cameras.

"This violation of policy thwarted the public's right to know what happened to Ms Damond and why the police killed her," Nelson said. "The two officers broke the policy not only when they didn't activate the body cameras before the incident, but also when they failed to do so after the use of force."
My condolences to Justine Damond's family, friends, colleagues, and community. I hope that they get the answers they seek, and something resembling justice — although true justice will be no one ever being shot and killed by police ever again.

On another note: White people who only care about police violence now that a white woman was shot, I see you.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus