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Community Gathers to Honor Life of Justine Damond

22 July 2017

Chief Harteau said she has only spoken with Mr Noor "in passing" since the shooting, but hopes he will give a statement. Bennett, who helped the family of black motorist Philando Castile reach a almost $3 million settlement after he was killed by a suburban police officer last summer, said the Minneapolis department's body camera policy, and how often the cameras are turned on, are among issues the family wants examined.

The department had only had the body cameras for eight months, so it was "not second nature" for them, she said. The chief had been out of town on a personal trip and faced questions about her absence since the shooting.

Pastor Celester Webb, whose church is attended by the family of Philando Castile, a black man brutally killed by police in Minnesota previous year, said many African-Americans were watching Ms Damond's case closely.

She said the impact of the shooting, which has drawn global attention, particularly from Australia, has not been lost on her. That followed the death of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill black man who had been sleeping in a downtown park when an officer shot him 14 times in 2014. Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo said police will soon release changes to body camera requirements, without elaborating.

"In the meantime, we ask that you give us time to grieve in private and to support each other at this very hard time".

A few hundred people marched through south Minneapolis on Thursday in honor of police shooting victim Justine Damond, but the friends, neighbors and community members in attendance said the march was also about seeking justice for all people impacted by police violence. She was shot when she approached the police vehicle that was responding.

'The actions in question go against who we are in the department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers. Officers are required to activate their cameras in more than a dozen situations, including whenever they use force.

"And, again, Justine did not have to die".

Justine Damond's fiance Don Damond is embraced by Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, during a rally in Minneapolis.

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"I would prefer that Officer Noor would speak - whether it be to our internal process or to the BCA". Noor shot her once through the window.

"An officer should have them on and that is what we are trying to identify", Chief Harteau said.

Hodges echoed Harteau's sentiments, saying that the Damond shooting should not have happened and that the lack of body camera footage is unacceptable. The bullet struck Damond in the abdomen and she died moments later.

The BCA has declined to provide any additional information into the investigation.

The officer who shot an unarmed woman last weekend in Minneapolis may not yet be talking, but his boss finally is.

- With files from the Associated Press.

Her death reverberated around the world, from a makeshift memorial at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community center where Damond worked, to her native Australia.

Several criminal law professors who spoke to the AP said it would be unusual if Noor had his gun out when officers were checking out a report of a potential assault. In 2016, Castile was murdered by a police officer after a traffic stop. The officer, Jeronimo Yanez, was acquitted in June of first-degree reckless homicide.

"We have to stop it here", Mr Bennett, who also represented the family of Minnesota man Philando Castile after he was gunned down by a policeman previous year, told AAP on Wednesday. Prosecutors used his statement as evidence against him during his manslaughter trial, but the defense used it, too.

Community Gathers to Honor Life of Justine Damond