Justine Damond—Murdered by Minneapolis Police After Calling for Help

July 23, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Justine Damond called 911 for help the night of July 15. Minutes later, a Minneapolis pig shot her dead. One more outrageous, unjust murder at the hands of police in America.

Damond, a white Australian woman, called the cops because she heard what sounded like someone being sexually assaulted near her home. She was unarmed and in her pajamas when police arrived. The cops did not investigate the possible assault. Instead, one of them shot and killed her while she was speaking to them.

Activists with Black Lives Matter and the NAACP were among those who organized a vigil—attended by about 300 people—the day after Justine Damond was murdered. Janee Harteau, the Minneapolis police chief, was in Colorado when one of her cops murdered Damond on a Saturday, and posted vacation photos on Facebook in subsequent days. It was not until Thursday that she even bothered to speak to the public in Minneapolis about the killing.

When hundreds marched Thursday, July 20, Damond’s friends and neighbors, and members of the community said it was for Damond and all victims of police violence. Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, spoke at the march. (Just a month earlier, a jury had acquitted the pig who murdered Philando Castile a year ago in a suburb of St. Paul.) A number of protest signs demanded justice for Justine Damond, Philando Castile, and Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old Black man murdered by Minneapolis cops in November 2015.

On Friday, John Thompson, a friend of Philando Castile, spoke at a rally for Justine Damond organized by Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Minnesota, and Native Lives Matter, among others. They cheered when they heard that police chief Harteau had stepped down. And people disrupted Mayor Betsy Hodges’ press conference and demanded she resign. As we go to press, the pig who murdered Justine Damond is not even under arrest!

News accounts have made much of the fact that the killer cop comes from Minneapolis’ large Somali immigrant community. But a pig is a pig is a pig. All police are trained to have contempt for the people. Justine Damond’s murder is the product of a culture of police thuggery, based on what role they play in this society. As Bob Avakian says:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness. (BAsics 1:24)




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