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Police Allegedly Shoot and Kill a Woman who Called 9-1-1 for Help

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Saturday night, July 15, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Justine Ruszczyk called 9-1-1 because she was concerned that a sexual assault may have been taking place in an alley near her home. In an event that has left many shocked and saddened, Ruszczyk was killed by a police officer when two officers responded to her call. An autopsy showed that she died from a gunshot wound to her abdomen. Ruszczyk is originally from Australia, and she was due to marry her fiancé, Don Damond, next month. Damond has made public statements regarding the tragic fatal shooting, and he says the police have not offered an explanation about how or why the fatal incident occurred. The officers’ body cameras had not been turned on at the time of the alleged shooting.

According to Betsy Hodges, Mayor of Minneapolis, the investigation into Ruszczyk’s death is being handled by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Hodges said the alleged police shooting happened just before 11 pm.

Police department policy is for body cameras to be turned on before or during contact involving criminal activity, when it is considered safe. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota claims that the right of the public to know what happened to Ruszczyk was thwarted by the officers’ failure to turn on the cameras. Teresa Nelson, Interim Executive Director of the organization says both officers at the scene should be penalized for breaking policy. She further said breaches in the policy should come with consequences, to ensure better accountability and compliance.

Both officers that were at the scene of the alleged police shooting are now on administrative leave.

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Written By: author image smchugh
author image smchugh