MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Hundreds of people participated in a Healing and Justice Walk in south Minneapolis Thursday to honor Justine Damond, who was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer Saturday night.
Organizers say the walk was about healing and comforting those who are mourning the loss of the 40-year-old woman.
“You just hope stuff like this will never happen and it does,” said Barb Kattner of Minneapolis. “That’s the part that’s hard.”
Neighbors and friends of Justine decided to hold the walk after they came together to discuss how the community can seek justice, not only for Damond, but for all who have died at the hands of police.
About 200 people joined in on the 15-minute walk from the corner of 51st and Washburn Avenue South in the Fulton neighborhood to Beard's Plaisance Park.
“It’s just a tragedy from all perspectives,” said Jack Kattner of Minneapolis. “You can’t think of anything else that you can do and I think by showing up you show that you care.”
The walk opened with prayer asking for help to hold the justice system accountable, without fanning the flames of Islamophobia. At the park, Damond's friends and family spoke about what must be done to prevent this from ever happening again.
“Now we know any of our children can get struck down,” said Sharon Sebring, the mother of Justine’s fiancé, Don Damond. “I don't care your color or your nationality … We're not bringing racism into this, this is about love and we all have people no matter their color who have issues. So we are standing with the Somali nation, with the Somali culture as well as Philando’s – all of them.”
Sebring, who is also a yoga instructor, added while she is dealing with an incredible loss she has compassion for Officer Mohamed Noor and his family. She says her mission now is to carry out Justine’s purpose.
Members of Communities Against Police Brutality were also at the Healing and Justice Walk promoting a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at 4200 Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. They say the intention of the meeting is to ensure no other family has to endure the sudden loss of a loved one at the hands of police.