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Don Damond: I Told Justine to Make the Call

What happened next was 'tragic, wrong, unjust'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2019 10:50 AM CDT
Don Damond is comforted after making a statement to the press near his Minneapolis home on July 17, 2017.   (Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune via AP)
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(Newser) – "My first thought was, 'I want her to be safe.'" It was for that reason that Don Damond told his fiancee to call police on the night of July 15, 2017, after she heard what she thought was a sexual assault taking place near the couple's Minneapolis home. "Probably six, seven minutes later, I text her having not heard from her," Damond tells CBS News. "I said, 'Tell me what's going on.' At this point, she was already gone." More than a week after former police officer Mohamed Noor was convicted of murder and manslaughter for shooting 40-year-old Justine Damond as she approached his squad car in an alleyway, her former partner still struggles to understand "how this could happen." But "what we know is how tragic this is, how wrong this is, how unjust."

Damond says he wants to see changes in police training not just in Minneapolis but across the country, so "no one ever has to experience what we experienced." "I can understand where Black Lives Matter is so angry because you can see the unjustified shooting across this nation," he says. "This is a blue issue." His was an opinion widely expressed at a Tuesday event at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, where Justine once led meditation classes, reports the Star Tribune. Mayor Jacob Frey, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, and City Council member Linea Palmisano heard from residents who said they no longer felt safe calling 911, and weren't sure they could trust officers not to lie. There were also concerns about Noor's treatment and a $20 million settlement. (Read more Justine Damond stories.)

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