Justice For Justine rally in Fulton will follow charging decision

Jess Sundin, a member of the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, speaks at a press conference Tuesday.

Justine Damond’s neighbors are planning a rally near her home at 50th & Washburn after Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman decides whether to press charges, activists announced Tuesday.

The community awaits Freeman’s decision on whether to charge Officer Mohamed Noor in the July 15 shooting. An officer responding to Damond’s 911 call told the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension he was startled by a loud sound. Damond approached the open driver’s side window, according to the BCA, and Noor shot from the squad’s passenger seat. Damond died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Activists said they planned to rally regardless of whether Freeman pursues charges. Freeman anticipated making a decision before the end of the year.

IMG_5031Fulton resident Katherine Hamberg said at a press conference Dec. 12 that the group Justice For Justine is not only seeking a conviction in Damond’s case, but police reform as well. She said Noor’s actions reflect his training and immersion in a “toxic” police culture.

Other groups represented at the press conference included the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar, The New North, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Black Lives Matter, Take A Knee Nation and the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

“There is no justice for Justine without justice for all,” said Monique Cullars-Doty of Black Lives Matter. “… Whether this officer is charged, either way, there are so many that have been charged that didn’t see justice. Either way we’re going to continue to stand and lift up the names of all the stolen lives.”

A memorial for Damond remains near the alley where she was killed; neighbors said it now holds a wreath and they may add ice sculptures later this winter.

Justice For Justine held a panel discussion on policing Oct. 30 that drew nearly 100 people.

“It’s been a huge learning experience for all of us,” said Fulton resident Todd Schuman.

The group recently shared a Facebook post Damond wrote in December 2014 in response to a deadly hostage incident in Sydney.

“There is a collective energy and consciousness that is building not around hatred, separation and blaming a religion or group for one mans actions, but around connection, kindness and community. And this is where the healing is,” Damond wrote.

Activists said the rally would take place at 6:30 p.m. either the day of Freeman’s announcement, or at 6:30 p.m. the following day, if the announcement comes after 4 p.m. Details will be posted at Justice For JustineMPLS.