Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges says the lack of information available about the death of Australian woman Justine Damond is “frustrating”, as the investigation into her shooting by police officer Mohamed Noor continues.
Speaking at a press conference a short time ago, Hodges said “as a community, as a people, we struggle to absorb the weight of this tragedy – the needless death of Justine Damond.”
She quickly corrected that statement, saying it was not yet clear if her death was “needless”, but reiterated that the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) would make that determination.
As the BCA is a state organisation, Hodges said the city did not have access to certain information regarding the investigation.
Regarding Officer Noor, Hodges said “I wish that he could make a statement.”
“We can’t compel him by law, but I wish that he would make that statement.”
Officer Noor’s lawyer had previously released a statement to the media, saying “he takes these events very seriously because, for him, being a police officer is a calling,” and that “we would like to say more, and will in the future.”
For the moment, Hodges says “there are big questions left that we still have, and that we hope to have answers [for] soon.
“Why did Officer Noor draw and fire his gun? What happened from the time the officers arrived on the scene to when she was pronounced dead? Why don’t we have footage from body cameras – why were they not activated?
“We all want answers to those questions.”
Damond had called 911 after hearing what she believed to be a disturbance in an alley behind her home. Multiple sources with knowledge of the incident say that after Officers Noor and Matthew Harrity arrived at the scene, Damond spoke to Harrity on the driver’s side of the squad car.
At some point, Officer Noor shot through the driver’s side door, hitting Damond in the abdomen. She was pronounced dead shortly after.
We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.