Justine Ruszczyk Damond was gunned down in her pyjamas after calling police to report a possible sexual assault behind her home in 2017. The responding officer shot the unarmed Australian woman when he arrived at the scene.
Police officer Mohamed Noor of the Minneapolis Police was later charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was sentenced to 12 and half years for the murder charge.
The Minnesota supreme court has thrown out the murder charge, sending the case back into the district court to decide on a criminal penalty for the manslaughter charge. Manslaughter carries a significantly shorter sentence which could see Mohamed Noor walk free by the end of 2021.
"We are again heartbroken, because we agreed with the trial court, lower appellate court, and, most importantly, the jury of Minnesota residents who believed it does," read a statement, released by Damond’s family.
They insisted that Noor’s action of killing Justine Damond was ‘just as reprehensible today as when he killed her in 2017’.
Many have contrasted this situation to the media circus surrounding the George Floyd case.
George Floyd died in police custody during his arrest, triggering Black Lives Matter riots around the world. Buildings were looted, statues destroyed, and public facilities such as churches and council chambers set on fire. In some cases, entire city blocks ended up looking like a war zone, with innocent people and businesses attacked by protesters in broad daylight.
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree murder in 2020.
The vast majority of those protesting against police brutality shortly after Justine Damond was murdered did not know her name.
Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Melbourne to see what their opinion was of an Australian woman being gunned down by police.
In one case, we have an unarmed woman shot by a police officer that she called for assistance. On the other, a convicted criminal who got behind the wheel of a car after ingesting a lethal dose of Fentanyl who then died while police attempted to arrest him.
There were no marches for Justine Damond – no outrage at police brutality or demands to ‘defund the police’. Nor were there any accusations of racism levelled at Noor over the killing.
With America in a hyper-racialised state claiming that Floyd’s death was allegedly the result of racism, how can it be ignored that a white woman was shot by a POC resulting in a deafening silence from Black Lives Matter and the #Metoo movement?
The parallel cases highlight the disparity within the media rhetoric – not to mention the danger of social justice mobs tilting the balance away from traditional systems of justice by politicising criminal cases.
In extraordinary scenes, Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the Minneapolis courthouse in 2017 to claim that he was originally convicted of murdering Justine Damond because ‘of the colour of his skin’.