Disclaimers: I’m NOT a clinically trained professional nor am I credentialed in matters of law enforcement, law or public safety.
That doesn’t mean I’m not entitled to an opinion, as a disabled activist of sorts, especially in matters of life or death or trying to prevent a tragedy, which in the case of Justine Damond’s death, that I don’t cause more harm to all of us who hurt because of it, especially Justine’s loved ones, in the unlikely event that this blog makes it on their radar.
In my case though, as an activist where I think more in shades of grey versus black or white, in matters (as well as people, as reverse racism has been brought up in this tragedy), if I can defend as a local activist, a hunter with a sucky hobby, like I did in the case of Cecil the Lion, I can ONLY do what I feel is right, as a resident of Minneapolis (Downtown, specifically) when it comes to this matter, which to me is so complicated and there is so much hurt.
I ask TWO things, should you read this particular blog of mine.
That is, it’s done with the most respect for Justine’s life and death, without wanting to cause further hurt.
And it does without blaming anyone, of discussing ideas, which is already being discussed in multiple ways, here in Minneapolis, that this should NEVER happen again but discussing in fairness to former Officer Mohamed Noor, who’s been charged with murder, with sensitivity to that, too.
I do have as a blogger/activist, a tendency to digress both due to disability and to make a point.
If I’m not CRYSTAL clear in my intentions, please ask for clarification, before making an assumption.
I actually started a similar blog about this, last week, when it first broke that our Hennepin County Attorney General Mike Freeman, was going to charge, now former MPD Officer Mohamed Noor, in the tragic shooting of Justine Damond, last summer, a woman who called 911, thinking an assault was taking place and lost her life, because of that, when suddenly greeting the officers.
Both her death last summer and now the charging of murder and manslaughter of Mohamed Noor, has made international headlines.
I’m now going to purposely digress, in hopes of making what I think is a valid point.
I LOVE Ellen Degeneres. I love the Ellen show and the happiness break it brings me both as a disabled person and as an activist/blogger about life and death topics, it brings me a lot of joy.
There is though, one thing Ellen does that I absolutely CANNOT stand. I mean like literally cannot bear.
That’s when she tries on purpose to SCARE people.
Rationally and intellectually, I get that it’s all in good fun, some people find that surprises or pranks played upon them, is a fun harmless distraction.
I’ve NEVER liked though surprises or pranks and that’s a million times worse, in the last 5 years living in Minneapolis of now not only have PTSD issues but Acute Stress Response disorder, meaning I have a sympathetic nervous system in overdrive, everytime I get triggered by sounds that scare me, whether it be someone suddenly grabbbing, me, even if it’s innocent, if I hear sirens (and I live 2 blocks away from a level 1 trauma center) or I hear loud arguing or banging noises.
I’m in NO WAY, honestly trying to accuse Justine being a party in her own death, her circumstances are tragic and irreversible.
She didn’t just call 911 once that night, she called it TWICE.
The problem is, from a perspective of someone in my case, where I’m not acutely trying to fight crime on a daily basis or nor am I an armed individual, a sudden bang in my perspective, in the dark, will send my sympathetic nervous system in a state of fight or flight not just for hours, but severely for DAYS.
In that respect, I can’t help even if I could understand why she did that, such as banging on the back of the squad car, because she might have been upset on the response time, in a dark alley, those 2 officers who both reached for their guns, couldn’t tell until they saw her who or what she was and whether or not she was armed.
I did watch when Mike Freeman explained why he was charging Mohamed Noor. I did watch when both our Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey did a joint press conference after that, stressing their condolences for Justine and her loved ones and a sincere effort to be made that this doesn’t happen ever again and a hope that justice will be served.
I would NEVER have attempted to write this, in an age that unfortunately does NO LONGER exist.
As Mohamed Noor by a great many, has ALREADY been charged and convicted of murder, at the time of Justine’s death last summer, in the court of social media.
And when I think of people where I’ve written blogs where such as Cecil the Lion or the tragic shooting death of a Mendota Heights police officer by a habitual violent felon who should’ve NEVER been free to hurt another a plant, let alone kill a peace officer in cold blood, I can’t stay silent on this topic.
The point and the vary problem in this specific tragedy is that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for justice to be served, in my non credentialed non law enforcement/public safety opinion.
It’s not fair that an innocent person who tried to help someone in crisis is dead.
But it’s also not fair, that someone we expected to risk their life, EVERYDAY, is at risk of losing his freedom, for the rest or a good majority of his young life, that he only had a matter of a few seconds of making a decision that could’ve been at the cost of his own life or his partner.
None of us who’ve ever been faced with such circumstances would really know what the right thing is to do.
But apparently everyone has an opinion and it’s either on the side of justice for Justine, no matter what the cost is, not knowing what it was like to be in Officer Harrity or Mohamed Noor’s shoes.
Or the polar opposite, that law enforcement shouldn’t ever have to face a jury or consequence for shooting an unarmed civilian who lost her life when thinking she was helping another, in crisis.
Justice doesn’t always have an equal or fairness to both sides, such as in our local case of the shooting by that violent felon who killed a peace officer, who should’ve never been out and only is serving life in prison versus the death penalty that we do NOT have in the State of Minnesota.
But, in this particular case, I honestly don’t know how it could EVER be fairly served and that makes me so sad for Justine Damond and her loved ones.
But, it does also make me sad for Mohamed Noor and his family, in these particular awful circumstances.
Note: I will NOT publish any opinions that aren’t respectfully motivated. Unless Justine and/or her loved ones actually decide to respond or someone who’s local in law enforcement has been faced with a similar circumstances and didn’t shoot someone unarmed after hearing a loud bang, there isn’t much you can do to dissuade me from having empathy for both sides.
I’m only expressing this, because this is such a polarized tragedy with empathy for one side and borderline hatred for another.
All I’m trying to accomplish is saying, I can feel horrible for Justine, but have empathy for Mohamed Noor, given the circumstances, but needed an additional 1300 words to explain WHY. Thanks!!!
Editorial Note: didn’t realize until an hour after publishing that I wasn’t clear about one fact that really isn’t relevant to the blog. I wasn’t crystal clear that I don’t own nor have I ever even touched a firearm.
That shouldn’t be cause for concern in anyone, regardless, but felt the need to update blog, to reflect that and one other less controversial point.