MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A demonstration is planned for Wednesday evening in downtown Minneapolis to show solidarity with the victims of police shootings in the wake of the Mohamed Noor trial verdict.
On Tuesday, a jury of two women and 10 men found the former Minneapolis police officer guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the 2017 shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
According to a Facebook event page, the group Justice for Justine Damond Ruszczyk is holding a rally at 5 p.m. at the northeast plaza of the Hennepin County Government Center. Its title: Rally To Demand Justice For All Lives Stolen By Police.
“Join us as we stand with social justice organizations and families of police violence victims to demand comprehensive reform of the justice system and declare in one voice: No More Stolen Lives,” the event page says.
The rally has been endorsed by other groups, such as the local chapter of Black Lives Matter, Justice 4 Jamar, Justice Occupation for Philando, and Women’s March Minnesota. Speakers slated to appear include former Minneapolis mayoral candidate Nekima Levy-Armstrong and Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP.
Following Tuesday’s verdict, which came after weeks of testimony and 11 hours of deliberation, Damond’s family said they were “satisfied” with the outcome.
However, her fiancé, Don Damond, spoke out against the Minneapolis Police Department on Tuesday, saying there was a “tragic lapse of care” and “complete disregard for human life” the night his wife-to-be was shot.
Community activists responded to the verdict saying that race played a role in the fact that Noor was the first Minnesota police officer convicted of murder for a death that happened while on-duty.
The Associated Press reported that John Thompson, an activist and friend of Philando Castile, who was killed in a 2016 police shooting in which a Latino officer was acquitted, said he wasn’t surprised by the Noor verdict.
“Officer Noor was going to jail no matter what because he’s a black man who shot a white woman in the state of Minnesota,” he said.
In the wake of the verdict in the Philando Castile case, in which former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted, hundreds of protesters took to the streets and ended up blocking traffic on Interstate 94 in St. Paul.
In 2015, protesters occupied the 4th Precinct police station in North Minneapolis for weeks following the fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark. No charges were brought against the officers.