Which Lives Matter?

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

I had an interesting discussion with a friend. He was espousing the viewpoint held by FoxNews and other pundits that the Black Lives Matter movement is a form of terrorism «1». There are others who counter that Blue Lives Matter, or that All Lives Matter.

Will the latest meme read: White Lives Matter?

The most recent incident involved school cafeteria worker Philando Castile whose criminal record primarily involved «2» traffic citations, was «3» shot and killed during a traffic stop. There was a nationwide uproar after the officer who shot into the vehicle was found not guilty after the widely publicized trial.

Now, with the furor over the Castile (and other) shootings slowly fading from the news… another disturbing shooting has exploded across the media. The most recent involves a white female shot by a police officer of color. And, unlike previous shootings, there were no police body camera recordings of the tragic incident.

Justine Damond - photo credit Stephen Govel

This incident involves a white woman from Sydney Australia who worked in the United States as a yoga teacher and spiritual healer. She was also a «4» doctor in her home country, practicing veterinary surgery. So, exactly who was this woman gunned down by Minneapolis police in her pajamas near her home?

Justine Ruszczyk Damond was an expatriate who was soon to marry her American fiance Don Damond (reportedly out of town at the time of the shooting). She reportedly heard a noise in the alley behind the home she shared with Don and her stepson Zach and phoned «5» 911. After the arrival of a police vehicle, she reportedly went into the alley, dressed in her pajamas, to discuss the situation with the officers.

Details are sketchy, largely because the police officers «6» did not turn on their body cameras during the incident and no other video recordings seemed to be available. The lack of police video is troubling, in that is leaves many details of this tragic incident up to speculation.

Family friend Julia Reed read a statement on behalf of the family that included: “They are trying to come to terms with this tragedy. And, to understand why this has happened.”

Justine Ruszczyk-Damond was weeks away from her planned wedding to Don Damond at the time of the shooting. Her stepson Zach expressed his dismay in the video below:

Neighbors have also expressed their grief and dismay over their neighbor’s unexplained death:

2016 photo of police officer Mohamed Noor

Another piece of the puzzle is the «7» officer who shot Ruszczyk-Damond. A few «8» details about this officer:

Officer Mohamed Noor, who reportedly shot Ruszczyk-Damond from the passenger seat (presumably firing across the officer who was driving the police vehicle) was the first «8» Somali officer in his precinct.

The Heavy website provides the following details about the officer:

  1. Officer Noor joined the Department in March 2015 and had only recently completed his field training
  2. Officer Noor is part of the largest group of Somali expatriates in the USA
  3. Officer Noor allegedly shot her through the door of the police cruiser
  4. Officer Noor was recognized by Mayor Betsy Hodges as the first Somali officer
  5. Officer Noor had a degree from Augsburg College
  6. According to Minneapolis journalist Farrah Fazal, Noor “used to work in property management in real estate in St. Louis/East Metro area.”

The most disturbing fact about this officer was an action for money damages arising out of a May 25, 2017 complaint.

In this legal filing (available for viewing at SCRIBD), Noor and other officers “without any reasonable or legal cause” forced “their way into Plaintiff’s house,” where they were accused of having “violently and forcibly detained the Plaintiff, and transported her to a hospital against her will.” The Plaintiff alleges the officers of violations of her constitutional rights.

Police dispatch audio that may include the shooting of Ruszczyk-Diamond may be listened to at Minnesota Police Clips.

Our prayers for the grieving family and friends of the deceased.

Updates

  1. The family of Justine Ruszczyk-Diamond is demanding answers to why she was shot and killed by police. Click to view Reuters TV report.
  2. An update from the Associated Press. Click to view Associated Press report.

 


Footnotes:

  1. FoxNews: BLM[]
  2. Heavy News: Philando Castile[]
  3. NY Times: Castile Trial Video[]
  4. Australian News Conference[]
  5. Scallywag and Vagabond: Report on Justine Damond Shooting[]
  6. Star Tribune: ACLU on Damond Shooting[]
  7. Officer who Shot Justine Ruszczyk-Damond[]
  8. Police Shooter: Officer Mohamed Noor[][]

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