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White nationalist shrine for slain Australian woman Justine Damond removed

27 December, 2017, 03:24 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Minneapolis Mayor Elect Responds to Damond Shrine Assembled by White Nationalists

Minneapolis police have removed a memorial that a white nationalist group created to honour Australian woman, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who was shot dead by a Somali police officer.

Identity Evropa said it had created the memorial of candles, flowers, a framed portrait and signs reading "United We Stand". Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder told Minnesota Public Radio News that the department "cannot allow any memorial and anything like that to be put up at that location".

Officer Mohamed Noor shot and killed Ms Ruszczyk Damond after the former North Sydney woman called to report a possible sexual assault behind her home in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in July.

The white nationalist group Identity Evropa set up the shrine last Friday.

The clashes came amid debate over the removal of statues and memorials commemorating the Confederacy across the country.

No charges have been filed and Ms Damond's family in Australia have expressed their frustration at the investigation into her death.

The memorial was later removed by a police officer who discovered it outside the building.

Minneapolis Mayor-Elect Jacob Frey said the white nationalist's actions were "cowardly" and "disgusting".

"I condemn the perpetrators and their tactics in the strongest possible terms", Frey said in a statement.

The hate group Identify Evropa took credit for the "shrine" honoring Justine Damond outside the Minneapolis police headquarters on its Twitter account on Saturday. The Southern Poverty Law Center calls Identity Evropa a hate group and the Anti-Defamation League labels it a white supremacist group.

Responding officer Matthew Harrity reported being startled by a loud noise near his squad auto as Ms Damond approached in her pyjamas.

The shooting remains under investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Officer Noor reached across Officer Harrity from the passenger seat of their squad vehicle and fired at the woman. Damond approached police unarmed and in her pajamas when she was shot.

Damond, who was struck in the abdomen, died at the scene. She moved to Minneapolis in 2015 to be with her fiance. The Minneapolis police chief who was in charge at the time resigned over the matter.

Noor is on administrative leave, Elder said.

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