MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Community members, friends and family of Justine Damond are also reacting to the remarks from Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau, and her resignation Friday evening.
Neighbors, friends and family have gathered every night since Justine Damond was killed feet away from her home. Friday’s rally in Loring Park is one organizers say is meant to honor all of the people killed by police officers in Minnesota.
“We are not bringing racism into this. This is about love,” Sharon Sebring, Don Damond’s mother, said.
She was going to be Justine Damond’s Mother-in-law — Sharon Sebring spoke on behalf of the family at one of many gatherings this week, speaking to all mothers.
“Justine was struck down,” she said. “Now we know that any of our children can be struck down. I don’t care your color, your nationality.”
The Damond family expressed compassion for Officer Mohamed Noor, who shot Justine, turning their focus to the future of policing in Minnesota, while honoring others killed by officers in the past.
“They’re beginning to understand this is not a black or white thing, this is a human being thing,” Valerie Castile said at the Thursday evening rally.
Philando Castile’s mother Valerie provided a shoulder to lean on for the Damond family this week, hoping more people of all backgrounds will come together after the tragedy and fight for police reform.
As many neighbors express a new found fear of calling the police for help, Damond’s family pushes for change, compassion and common ground, because it’s what Justine would have wanted.
Harteau said yesterday in her first public remarks since the shooting that in light of the events of the past year, communication between police and the community is more important than ever–and that no one should ever feel afraid to call police.