July 17, 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. –The following statement can be attributed to Teresa Nelson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, in response to the killing of Justine Damond by the Minneapolis Police on July 15, 2017.

"Our sympathies go out to Justine Damond’s family, friends, and the larger Minneapolis community.

"By failing to turn on their body cameras when they encountered Ms. Damond, the two Minneapolis Police officers violated their department’s policy, 4-223, on body cameras. This violation of policy thwarted the public’s right to know what happened to Ms. Damond and why the police killed her. The two officers broke the policy not only when they didn’t activate the body cameras before the incident, but also when they failed to do so after the use of force.

"These two officers should face penalties for breaking policy 4-223 and making the truth so much harder to find. Consequences should be added to the policy to ensure better compliance and accountability.

"The ACLU of Minnesota expects a thorough, fair, and transparent investigation of Ms. Damond’s killing. We call for the release of the audio from the 911 call that she made, along with any audio from the dash camera. Even if the dash camera did not capture images from incident, it may have picked up audio."

The ACLU-MN is a non-profit organization that works to defend the civil liberties of all Minnesotans. Learn more at www.aclu-mn.org

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