Ruszczyk Damond in an undated picture.

Minneapolis police shoot immigrant who lunged at squad car

Minneapolis police have confirmed that the woman who was shot on Saturday night has died.

Justine Ruszczyk Damond was shot by police at midnight on Saturday when she unexpectedly lunged at a squad car only moments after 911 dispatchers told her that police were on the way. Damond, who was wearing only underclothes, had called police to report a possible rape at her neighbor’s house. Authorities have confirmed that no sexual assault was discovered. Authorities are also questioning whether Damond filed a false report in order to lure officers to the scene.* Damond has a history of depression and may have been trying to commit “suicide by cop,” where a suicidal person acts so aggressively that the police have no choice but to shoot the person.

At least one attorney representing the Minneapolis Police Department has demanded reexamination of Damond’s autopsy results, suspecting that Damond was under the influence of the hallucinatory intoxicant Ambien at the time of her death.

The officer who shot Damond said that he was violently startled by the sight of Damond running straight at the car through the dark alley. He said that he was following his training and instincts to protect himself and his partner.

Damond was a native of Australia who moved to Minneapolis to be with her boyfriend, casino owner Don Damond. Though Justine Damond had not yet married Don Damond, she ceased using her maiden name upon entering the country and had yet to obtain taxable employment. Authorities are investigating whether Damond’s visa was fraudulently obtained and whether she has a criminal record under her maiden name.*

Damond met her future husband, Don, at a self-care retreat. Don has confirmed that he was not home on the night of the incident, but was instead drinking and gambling at a Las Vegas casino. Don Damond has at least seven prior criminal convictions.

Australian authorities have expressed outrage over the shooting. The Australian media, ignoring the high rate of murder among Australians, has consistently aired a picture of Damond that would “tug at the heartstrings.”

All Lives Matter could not be reached for comment.

See how the narrative changes when a pretty white lady dies? If this story bothers you, ask yourself why. An asterisk marks the only sentences that I made up for this essay (and also show how easy it is to say “authorities believe XYZ”) — the rest of the story contains details that are publicly available.

My heart goes out to Justine Damond and her family. BlackLivesMatterTwinCities thinks your life mattered, Justine. I hope your family joins the cause.