By Mary McGuire

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dozens of friends and family gathered near the banks of Minnehaha Creek on Saturday afternoon for a bench dedication ceremony, blanketing the bench with cranes and pink flowers.

They were there to honor the life of Justine Damond, who was shot and killed in her alley by police on July 15, 2017.

The bench is engraved with a plaque that reads “Remembering Justine Maia Ruszczyk,” which was her maiden name, “Love is Never Lost.”

Her fiance, Don Damond,  along with his mother and other community members spoke at the ceremony about how the past year has been without Justine.

Former Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor has been charged with third-degree murder and second degree manslaughter in the death of Damond.

The yoga instructor and Australian native had called police over a possible sex assault in the alley and a responding officer shot her from inside his squad car.

According to a criminal complaint, his partner, who was with him at the time of the shooting, said he feared for his life in the moments before shots were fired.

Noor has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 27.

Mary McGuire

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