Why? The question that still hangs over Justine Damond’s killing
The shooting of the Australian by police in Minneapolis has ousted a senior officer and invigorated brutality protests but family, friends and two nations are still waiting
When Minneapolis police officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor arrived at the alleyway behind the home of Justine Damond on the night of 15 July, they radioed in a code four, which means no assistance needed or situation is under control.
The time was 11.39pm. The sequence of events that followed would reverberate around the world and, within days, devastate a family, upend a citys politics and transfix two nations.
The police shooting of Damond, also known as Ruszczyk, would reinforce widely held international views of the US as a country where gun culture and trigger-happy police are out of control. Locally, it would also give a renewed sense of urgency to black activists who, for the past two years, had been marching, blocking highways and holding occupations as part of a campaign to bring an end to police shootings in their communities.
As they would quickly realise, this case wouldnt follow the patterns they had grown used to seeing. Some would say that was because authorities had learned from past mistakes, while others would say it was because of who the victim was, and who she was not. The details of what happened when the two officers drove through that alleyway has slowly come into focus over the past week, but there is still much that is not known.