Nation & World

Hate group’s ‘shrine’ to woman killed by Minneapolis cop is condemned and removed

Justine Damond
Justine Damond

A white supremacist group’s memorial to a slain woman in Minneapolis has been removed, prompting the group to cry foul.

Identity Evropa, identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, set up the memorial in honor of Justine Damond, an Australian native who was killed more than five months ago by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor.

Minneapolis Mayor-elect Jacob Frey condemned the memorial, according to Minnesota Public Radio

Identity Evropa and those who share their values have no place in our city,” he said. “Hate has no place in Minneapolis. Period.”

Some Identity Evropa’s members participated in the “Unite the Right” rallies that were fueled by racism in Charlottesville. The group also has ties to notorious white supremacist Richard Spencer, who flashed a Nazi salute during a November 2016 speech praising Donald Trump’s victory.

The group laid flowers, candles and a framed photograph of Damond, who was 40, on a sidewalk outside a Minneapolis police station precinct. In a tweet on Saturday, the group called it a “shrine” to Damond.

Identity Evropa decried the removal of the memorial and called Noor a “Somali-born killer.”

“Justine Damond was senselessly murdered,” the group wrote on Twitter. “What kind of lunatic would destroy a memorial to her?”

Noor came to the U.S. at a young age, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, and was a member of the Somali American Police Association.

Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor File

Earlier this month, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman was recorded saying he was frustrated by a lack of evidence with which to charge Noor, BBC reported.

He’s since apologized for the comments.

Damond was shot in the alley behind her home after calling 911 to report a possible assault. According to a search warrant, Noor heard a slap on the squad car and shot across his partner, striking Damond in the stomach and killing her, the Star Tribune reported.

A conviction requires showing an objectively reasonable officer would have made a different decision than Noor did in shooting Damond.

Max Londberg: 816-234-4378, @MaxLondberg