The body camera footage showing the death of Justine Damond, the woman who was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer, also showed officers’ vain attempts to save her life.
The chaotic footage was played in court Thursday and showed the unsuccessful efforts to save the 40-year-old woman, who was shot minutes after calling 911 to report a possible rape near her home. Damond was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia who had taken her fiance’s last name ahead of their wedding, which was scheduled to happen a month after her July 2017 death.
Former Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor stands trial on murder and manslaughter charges. He was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department after being charged in her death.
When the body camera footage was played, Damond’s fiancé Don declined to watch. Others members of her family also left the courtroom, FOX9 reported.
The Australian Associated Press reported Minneapolis Judge Kathryn Quaintance barred the media and public from seeing the body camera footage at first but the restriction was lifted after media organizations argued the decision.
“The footage on these [body-worn cameras] shows the last moments of human life and the struggles of police and medical personnel to save that life,” Quaintance wrote in a memo, according to the Australian Associated Press. “These moments are well outside the personal experience of most people. Most lay people are not well equipped to take in such visceral and shocking material.”
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that one officer’s body camera showed Noor and his partner taking turns performing CPR on Damond before firefighters arrived. Another body camera video showed Noor being taken to a supervisor squad. Officer Mark Ringgenberg testified Noor kept asking if Damond was OK.
“I just told [Noor] not to say anything,” Ringgenberg said. “I don’t remember specifics.”
Defense attorneys have said Noor was reacting to a loud noise and feared an ambush. Prosecutors have argued there was no evidence Noor faced a threat that justified the use of deadly force.
The head of the city’s police homicide unit, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, testified Thursday that lighting in the alley was bright enough that he could see the officers clearly when he arrived. Defense attorneys have contended that lighting conditions were poor the night Damond was shot.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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