Those who want to blame every single black person who has ever been shot by police for their own death have finally gotten their perfect victim: a white woman named Justine Damond. A lawyer representing the family of the Australian native who was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer said Thursday that Damond is “the most innocent victim” of a police shooting that he has ever seen.
Robert Bennett is the attorney who was hired by Damond’s family earlier this week, and he told the Minnesota Star Tribune that the family is seeking justice for Damond, 40, who was killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor Saturday after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault.
“It’s quite clearly an improper use of deadly force on someone who it is impossible for me to conceive of as a threat to anyone,” Bennett told the Star Tribune Thursday. “I mean, she saved ducklings out of the sewer, for God’s sakes.”
Bennett is not unfamiliar with cases involving police misconduct. He worked with the family of Philando Castile in getting a settlement over his shooting death in Falcon Heights, Minn., last year by former St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez, and he represented Frank Baker who was bitten by a police dog and kicked by a St. Paul, Minn., police officer last year.
“I’m not saying Philando wasn’t innocent, too, or that Frank Baker wasn’t innocent,” Bennett said. “But here is someone who called the police and was trying t0 stop someone from being hurt … and ends up being shot in her pajamas.”
While Bennett may very well have the best intentions at heart, the meaning behind his words is there if you read between the lines.
Damond’s shooting was unfortunate and tragic, and her family deserves justice. But let’s be clear: The biggest difference between her and other innocent victims of police shootings is that she was a white woman.
Aiyana Stanley-Jones was 7 years old when Detroit Police Officer Joseph Weekley “accidentally” shot her as she lay sleeping in her grandmother’s home. She was in her pajamas. Was she not innocent?
Tamir Rice was doing what you would expect a 12-year-old boy to do. As The Root’s Kirsten West Savali so aptly put it:
How dare he, in an open-carry state, play with a toy gun that can be found on the shelves of most major retailers in this country? How dare he go to a playground with a toy? How dare Tamir—in a country that clings to its weapons, in a country where white women can point BB guns at police and live, where white extremists can openly menace black neighborhoods with assault rifles—walk around in his black skin and be a child?
Was Tamir not innocent? Did his black skin make him less deserving of life?
What about Jordan Edwards? What about Trayvon Martin? What about Jordan Davis?
Why are we, as black people, always placed in the position of having to prove that we are as deserving of life as everyone else?
Why does Blue Lives Matter come out so heavily to back police when the victim of a fatal police shooting is black, but remain in deadly silence when the victim is white?
And what of Mohamed Noor? From the outset, the shooting looks egregious, but where are all of the “We don’t have all the details” people to tell us to be patient and let the investigation tell us what happened?
Why was the Somali cop immediately identified as the innocent white woman’s killer? Why were pictures of him circulated showing him standing with two Muslim women?
Just what are we doing here?
Why is it that the one shooting that suddenly has white people fearing the cops is the shooting that takes one of their own?
I’ll tell you why.
It’s because they finally found their “perfect” victim. She was white and blond and rescued ducks out of sewers.
She was the antithesis of the “superpredator” image they want you to believe represents blackness.
She didn’t deserve to die.
But neither did any of the others.