Memorial service held for Justine Damond shot by Minneapolis police officer


Memorial service held for Justine Damond shot by Minneapolis police officer

Hundreds of mourners dressed in blue have turned out to farewell Justine Damond a month after the 40-year-old Sydney woman's life was cut short outside her Minneapolis home.

Mourners wearing heart-shaped stickers have gathered at a lakefront stage to remember an Australian woman shot and killed by a police officer responding to her 911 call.

The audience also saw a video that family and friends say shows the quintessential Justine - her rescue of eight ducklings from a storm sewer.

'I can just feel her basically saying "why are you guys being so serious?",' friend Rosie McGowan said.

Damond added he had "immense gratitude for being the one she chose".

"We've lost the dearest of people and we're desperate for information", says Don Damond, the fiance of Justine Damond who was fatally shot by United States police.

"We should be walking arm in arm down the street smiling and laughing".

Program from Justine Damond public memorial
Program from Justine Damond public memorial

He read some of the uplifting messages she would free-write every morning and called her a "living example of self-mastery". And now each step on the footpath is so very painful.

Justine's father John Ruszczyk told the gathering he was "crushed by sorrow" and should have been en route to a wedding, not a funeral.

A banner above the band shell at Lake Harriet in southwest Minneapolis reads, "Move from fear and survival to fascination and creation".

An Australian flag stood prominently on the stage next to a large colour photo of Damond bordered in pink and white flowers.

The investigation into her death has taken a new development after a judge approved a search warrant for police to examine the smartphones of two Minneapolis police officers in the shooting. "This information may more clearly define the actions of Officers Noor and Harrity both prior and post shooting". At times he struggled to hold back tears.

Mr Noor was in the passenger seat and shot Ms Damond through the open driver-side window. Noor has declined to be interviewed by investigators and can not be compelled to do so.

Her family set up the Justine Damond Social Justice Fund to support causes important to her, including those promoting equal treatment for all. Minneapolis police officers are now required to have their body cameras on when they respond to calls and make traffic stops.