Justine with fiance Don Damond (Picture: Facebook)
A Tragedy in Minneapolis
This past weekend Justine Damond 40 an Australian woman living in Minneapolis was shot to death by a police officer. The shooter was Mohamed Noor 32 a Somali immigrant who joined the police force two years ago as the department tried to assemble a more diverse workforce.
Ms. Damond’s fiancé said she had called 911 to report what she believed was a sexual assault. The police arrived and the media is reporting that Ms. Damond was standing outside the driver’s side of the police car when she was shot in the abdomen.
Ms. Damond was unarmed. She was a meditation coach.
For the last few years, police shootings in the US have led to a rush of judgment. We have deplored those opinions because we have often seen in them a stew of virtue-signaling, anti-police bias, ignorance of relevant facts and an unwholesome tendency to generalize.
With the understanding that police work is difficult and dangerous, our thoughts about this killing are decidedly neutral:
- It is, as any sentient adult knows, a tragedy, a life-wrenching tragedy.
• It is one that the local authorities are best equipped to investigate.
• This tragedy offers us no lessons on immigration policies, affirmative action programs or black-white relations.
• The reality that Somali culture views women quite differently that modern US culture is probably irrelevant.
• Minneapolis should not be the site of mass protests as, for example, Ferguson Missouri was in 2014 after the killing of Michael Brown. Ms. Damon’s relatives will probably not call for arson as the step-father of Michael Brown did when he urged a crowd to “burn this bitch down.”
• The media is reporting that the officer involved did not have his body camera turned on. The local authorities will investigate. This may or may not be relevant.
• Officer Noor joined the police force in 2015. He has two open complaints filed against him. Those complaints also may or may not be relevant and under Minnesota law details of open cases are not released. We do not even know if two open complaints over this time span is significant.
We cannot empathize with the family of Justine Damond because we have not gone through anything as awful just as we could not empathize with the family of Michael Brown. Those families are enduring unimaginable grief.
We hope the authorities in Minneapolis get to the bottom of this as soon as possible.