No one would question that Justine Damond was the innocent victim of a police shooting. The 40-year-old Australian native and meditation teacher was shot to death in the alley behind her home last weekend, by police responding to a 911 call she placed to report a possble sexual assault. That is incredibly, incredibly fucked up and heartbreaking and terrible in every possible way. It is not a thing that should happen to people.

Her family has enlisted attorney Robert Bennett, who previously worked with the family of Philando Castile. According to him, she is the “most innocent victim” of a police shooting he has ever seen:

“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 said Thursday. “I mean she saves ducklings out of the sewer, for God’s sakes.”

Bennett has worked on other high-profile cases over police conduct, including Castile’s, and represented Frank Baker, who was bitten by a police dog and kicked by a St. Paul police officer last year.

Calling Damond “the most innocent victim” of a police shooting he has ever seen, he quickly added, “I’m not saying Philando wasn’t innocent, too, or that Frank Baker wasn’t innocent. But here is someone who called the police and was trying to stop someone from being hurt … and ends up being shot in her pajamas.”

Now, sure. Bennett is trying to win a case here — a case he should absolutely win, because this is all very terrible. But there’s something very, very off-putting about that language, about comparing Damond to other victims of police shootings gone wrong, and suggesting that she is the most innocent of all.

As if there is some “reason” police ought to find her more innocent than Bettie Jones, a Chicago grandmother who was shot after police raided her neighbor’s house.

Or 7-year-old Aiyana Jones (no relation) who was asleep in her bed when she was shot and killed by police.

Or 15-year-old Jordan Edwards who committed the crime of leaving a high school party in a car, by police who later lied about their reasons for shooting him.

Or 12-year-old Tamir Rice who was playing in a park.

Or the off-duty cop who came to help out his fellow officers, clearly identified himself, and then was shot by one of his fellow officers who assumed he was a criminal.

I could go on.

Now, I don’t know if any of these people ever rescued any ducklings, that I will admit. But they were all innocent, and no less innocent than Justine Damond. Not one bit. Philando Castile was no less innocent than Justine Damond.

The officer involved in the shooting could not possibly have known about Justine Damond’s duck-rescuing habit, so there’s got to be something else, some other reason why it was impossible for him to conceive of anyone considering her a threat. Some particular trait that confers an assumption of innocence upon her, that perhaps these other police shooting victims lack. Even when they are 7-year-old children asleep in their beds. Oh gee, whatever could it be?

The problem at the heart of this is that people — even those as deeply involved in these cases as Robert Bennett — still see it as somehow reasonable for a police officer to look at a black person and see a “threat” to their lives. More reasonable, at least, than for them to look at a white woman and see a threat. And until we confer that same “How could anyone see them as a threat??” assumption upon people of color who are wrongly shot by police — and not just on blonde white ladies — this shit is never going to end.


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  • Fun with Cthulhu

    Thanks Robyn. I’m sure that one hurt to write.

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

    “They’re beginning to understand this is not a black or white thing. This is a human being thing,” Castile said at Thursday’s rally protesting Justine Ruszczyk’s death. “This is a humanity type thing.”

    • MynameisBlarney

      This is a cops need to be deprogrammed out of their shoot to kill at every fucking opportunity mentality type thing.

      • laineypc

        I think, (and therefore it is true) that the mentality is from fear. Most are not homicidal maniacs, they are just really really frightened because there are so many people with guns. I don’t know how you deprogram that.

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    Yeah, she shouldn’t have been shot. We all agree on that. Can we dial it down a little though, counselor? The “most innocent victim EVAR” bit strains credulity.

    • Michael Smith

      Also, the President is the most unfairly treated President in history!!

      • Oblios_Cap

        But that’s true. Just read his twatters.

  • Oblios_Cap

    Well, she certainly is the most white-womanish of all the victims. I wonder if that’s what he’s trying to get at?

    • proudgrampa

      Well, he couldn’t say “This is the whitest woman I’ve ever seen shot by a cop.”

      Guess he shouldn’t have said anything.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      Tripping over his own subconscious cultural biases.

  • Michael Smith

    Yeah this type of talk does damage, when the definition of self-defense rests on the question of whether the officer subjectively believed that his or her life was in danger. In non-police cases, that subjective belief needs to be coupled with an objectively reasonable possibility of the danger being real. But that does not seem to apply to cops.

    So when you start saying that white women just feel less dangerous than black men or women, even if – or maybe even especially if – its a Freudian slip, you support a prejudice that can be used to justify the police killing black people. Basically: Hey everyone knows black people are scarier than white people, so the bar for a reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm is lower when it comes to black people.


    “There’s something very, very off-putting about that language, about comparing Damond to other victims of police shootings gone wrong, and suggesting that she is the most innocent of all.”

    Don’t you know that in American law all victims are guilty until proven innocent?

    • proudgrampa

      She must have been doing something wrong, or he wouldn’t have shot her!

      • WIDTAP

        How did she know that the potential rape victim she called 911 about wasn’t a slut?

      • Oblios_Cap

        I’m figuring those were some fugly p.j.s that she was wearing. Maybe these guys are cut out to be fashion police, instead.

        • A Groucho Marxist

          Any word on whether the pajamas had a hood?

          • WIDTAP

            Probably had onsey bunny feet – same thing.

        • This is what happens when Mr. Blackwell is militarized.

      • Persistent Tennessee Rain

        If only she had been compliant.

        • Komsumverweigerer Ron

          Nevertheless, she persisted.

      • Beanz&Berryz

        It looked like she had some skittles

      • She was in an alley. That’s instantly suspicious.

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      All victims are guilty until proven innocent, but some victims are more guilty than other victims.

  • Oblios_Cap

    So the cop in the passenger seat was startled and fired across the car and hit her through the open window? I wonder what the guy in the driver’s seat thought about that?

    Why do we allow such scaredy cats become policemen?

    • Beanz&Berryz

      Also too what the cop in the driver seat thought about a bullet zipping by a couple inches in front of his chest. And from a direction that would slip under any body armor he was wearing.

      • Oblios_Cap

        “Sorry, Pardner.”

        • Beanz&Berryz

          After being slugged in the face

    • MrTusks

      They’re the only ones who apply.

  • Bill D. Burger
  • Suttree

    My thoughts exactly when I read your headline Robyn.

  • Jenny

    The wording sucks. None of them should have died. But the odds that someone will do something about shit police training increase significantly now that a rich white lady has died. I guess that’s a silver lining.

    • Suttree

      This is still a one off though. Nothing will change until rich white folks start getting shot with the same regularity as POC.

      • Jenny

        The family has enough money to keep it in the news. Some state senator is going to pick up the charge and not fuck it up like the law for Sandra Bland because rich white constituents.

  • Spurning Beer

    Only people who are over 36% guilty should be shot by police. On the other hand, when a police officer shoots an innocent person, they must be at least 143% guilty for them to be convicted. Maybe.

  • TJ Barke

    America: Great again or greatest again?

    • mackafritz

      At this point I would settle for MAMA. Make America Mediocre Again.

      • Oblios_Cap

        Shoulda gone with MAXA : Make America eXecptional Again.

        • Komsumverweigerer Ron

          America is already exceptional.
          I won’t depress you-all by listing the reasons why.

      • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

        Or MASA: Make America Sane Again

        • janecita

          Make America Sexy Again.

          • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

            SOLD! Let’s get that on a hat and a t-shirt!

      • Msgr_MΩment

        MATIA: Make America Turtle Island Again.

    • janecita

      Great again at being terrible.

    • Alan

      It’s certainly no longer the place I grew up.

  • janecita

    Please, of course she was “the most innocent victim” ever, all those other victims that you wrote about, were guilty of being black. In this country, being black makes you a possible delinquent from birth to death.

  • canes_pugnaces

    Don Jr. Mini-Me is a most innocent victim of Russia grabbing. Justine Damon was fucking assassinated.

  • Thiazin Red

    I’m sure right wing news stations aren’t digging through her history to find pictures that make her look dangerous, or times she was in trouble.

    • Beanz&Berryz

      Why’d she flee Australia? Hmm?

      • Suttree

        You know who comes from Australia? British convicts, that’s who!

        • janecita

          And boxing kangaroos.

          • Suttree

            Who knows what they are hiding in those pouches!

          • janecita

            Smaller boxing kangaroos! Sneaky bastards!

          • Hemp Dogbane

            That ain’t a knife. THIS is a knife!

        • SpideySenser

          Errol Flynn.

      • Alan


    • Bobathonic

      She was no angel.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      They have the Somali cop to focus on. They’re a bit conflicted and they can’t make up their minds right now.

  • (((fka_donnie_d)))

    The Blondest Frizz

  • Wild Cat

    In “liberal” NYC, teenager and scary black entity Michael Stewart was strangled to death three decades ago by the cops because he did some graffiti. “Liberal” Ed Koch and the city pathologist covered it up. In good news, around that time mentally ill grandmother and scary black entity Eleanor Bumpers was gunned down by the cops with thirty bullets, but she did have a street in Harlem named after her—how touching!
    I won’t even touch the Giuliani Reign of Racist Terror, which still haunts us due to his treason during the election.
    Madness in the past was just allowed to slide and slide until we all ended up in this fucking mess.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    Most innocent ever?

    I’m not ruling out vajayjay dentata as having provoked this unfortunate incident.
    We. Just. Don’t. Know.

  • The Librarian

    Mr. Bennett represented the Castillo family in one of the most egregious police shootings and this is what he comes up with?! More ammo to give redneck mofos the idea that Mr. Castillo was less than an innocent man. Mr. Bennett, you are not a solution, you’re part of the problem.

  • NastyBossetti
  • Vincent Ricola

    OT – Obvious news is obvious, but Spicy’s out because Donald is hiring that douche Anthony Scaramucci to communicate directions. Rats are fleeing from the ship.

    • Resistance Fighter Callyson

      This is bad news for Melissa McCarthy, not to mention fans of good comedy. But I’m sure Spicey’s replacement will entertain us soon enough. And Melissa could probably do a mean Sarah Huckabee Sanders!

      • Vincent Ricola

        I’m really going to miss snl Spicy, that was almost better than snl Trump for me.

      • Reximus

        They just need to find someone with a very punchable perma-smirk face

      • covfefesumgame0005

        I don’t know, she could do a really funny bit with him out on the street trying to re-make his motorized podium using an old bicycle and garbage cans!

        • GunToting[Redacted]

          Spicy in Exile.

    • Claire
    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter


    • SeeTrain65

      “Spicey out! Spicey out! Spicey out! Spicey out!”

    • Celtic_Gnome

      Scaramucci, Scaramucci, do you do the fandango?

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Today, we are all the most…aw, fuck it.

  • Reximus
    • georgiaburning

      Who had six months one day in the Spicer resignation pool?

      • Komsumverweigerer Ron

        TLM, I think.

      • Opiwan


    • Suttree

      Did he really have to wait this long for an excuse to come along. Apparently he doesn’t believe in general principles.

      • Antonin Dvorak

        He resigned in protest of Scaramucci being hired.

        • mt2099

          Yeah, but if he had any real principles he would’ve resigned the first time he was instructed to lie.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Who will wear the Easter Bunny suit now?

    • SeeTrain65

      One he volunteered to enter. Fuck him.

  • x111e7thst

    Cops are terrified. I’m not sure why. Amerikka, with the exception of a few inner city neighborhoods is a peaceful place through which I am happy to wander alone unarmed and unbothereed

    • Oblios_Cap

      I certainly am not a-feared to walk alone almost anyplace in my city.

    • Suttree

      The fact that we have more guns than people doesn’t help, but people should not be police officers if everything terrifies them.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      I think there are a few contributing factors:
      The whole command presence thing- shouting, cursing and giving contradictory orders to confuse the bad guys. It really just gets mentally ill people more agitated.
      The lack of any de escalation training
      The benefit of the doubt they receive legally and socially when using lethal force.

      • x111e7thst

        They go to seminars where they are told they are WARRIORS!!! (on some imaginary battlefield). I would prefer to see them taught conflict resolution techniques.

    • Alan

      Guns. Cops that I’ve known for years who have never drawn their gun a single time and spend their whole shift telling people to move their cars are now wearing vests at work. I would be jumpy as hell and would probably just shoot everyone before they shot me. Good thing I’m not a cop.

    • Sakonyachen

      I go to East Saint Louis unarmed, except for the places I wouldn’t go if I had a tank. The most dangerous places here are just as dangerous with a gun as without, which is why everyone that doesn’t have to be there stays the fuck away. Seems easier than getting a concealed carry liscence.

  • sarahjane1912

    The language used by her lawyer bites the big one.

    But what bites/hurts/SLAYS me more than anything is that she was shot in the first place. Born in a country where guns aren’t even a bloody THING to most of us — and she was only a teenager when we banned all but the most necessary (for farmers/Olympic sportspeople/cops**) — she moved to a country where it’s guns-a-go-go, apparently, and gets herself effing shot.

    I can’t even with this. I hate, hate, HATE that so many Americans are shot on a daily basis, but seeing a countrywoman go down … is just so awful. I’m sorry; your 2nd amendment BS gun crap is batshit crazy. I’ll never EVER understand why your lives are so dominated by this insane ‘freedom’.

    Freedom, my arse.

    ** Yep, our cops are armed. But surprise, surprise: they don’t go around shooting people with alacrity. It’s rare as … fucking rare. Makes the front page if/when it happens. The way it should be.

    • The Rain in Spain’s Therapist

      Basically we all have to live in fear of being shot so that a few hillbillies can have fun on the shooting range every weekend.

      • Oblios_Cap

        Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…

      • sarahjane1912

        I thought they were the ‘safe’ ones, and that the majority of gun-toters did it to Pro-tect der fam’lies!! FFS.

      • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

        So gun manufacturers can perpetually find a way to sell more and more gunz to a shrinking pool of buyers.

      • YoBunnyBunny

        And the weird thing about the “sporting” defense is that places like the UK and Australia allow guns for sport. They have clubs and what not, but those damn guns and ammo better be registered and locked up (often at the range only).

        I occasionally like watching British/Australian true crime stories, and I am ALWAYS fascinated when the featured criminal is a gun hoarder. The neighbors are straight up “Dude had an unnatural and unhealthy obsession with guns. That was creepy”. Which seems to be a reasonable way to view gun fetishist.

      • The Green Bastard

        “‘Range?’ Hell, I just call it ‘the backyard’.”

        -some hillbillies I know

      • Gayer Than Thou

        The other day, a guy at the gas pump opposite me was carrying a gun. Maybe he was a cop who was carrying a gun but otherwise dressed like a dudebro on a weekend? I don’t know how that works. It was really weird, because I realized that if I somehow pissed him off, he could kill me. So of course that was the day I picked the slowest pump in the history of gas pumps.

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      My Australian more-than-brother travelled to the US some years ago, and found himself wondering why Americans have the right to own guns but can’t buy Tylenol with codeine across the counter. (His conclusion was that if the British hadn’t used guns but had sailed up and down the East Coast all night banging pots and pans, the Second Amendment would have looked quite different.)

    • SpideySenser
      • YoBunnyBunny


      • sarahjane1912

        I have shared this with EVERYBODY I know. I must have watched it myself about twenty times … and it keeps getting ‘realer’. :)

        • Sakonyachen

          “Fuck off! I like guns!” is actually my argument for guns after watching Jim Jeffries months ago. Of course, I just borrow from family members when I want to shoot guns. I don’t own any. I self regulate due to a combination of my temper and people who think my kindness betrays my weakness. So I wouldn’t miss them much.

        • SpideySenser

          I’ve seen the entire “bit” several times, this is just an abridged version as I’m sure you know. Anyway, he’s so logical and on point that it drives the NRA types crazy (now there’s a stretch!). I love in the longer version how he explains how the 2nd is an amendment, which means it can be “amended” – heads explode at 11:00.
          Keep on sharing.

    • Red Bird

      It shouldn’t be a mystery why it was easier to pass gun control in Australia than in the US. Australia is still predominantly white, around 92%, while the US is slowly becoming racially diverse. The popularity of guns has more to do with an indirect threat of violence against non-whites than it does with freedom. As much as it is sad to see your countrywoman killed, the reality is that she probably wouldn’t have been shot had the area been well lit….mainly because she is white.

      • Jennaratrix

        And also too, Australia is an island – a big motherfucking island, but an island nonetheless. Import control is significantly easier; the logistics alone of a firearm ban here in the good ol’ U S of A would be a nightmare.

        • Red Bird

          Having been born on an island, I’m not sure that import control is easier than on land. But if saying that makes it easier to avoid the fact that white people in American want guns so they can feel safe around non-white people, then so be it.

          • Jennaratrix

            I in no way said or implied that the fact that keeping guns out of the US after gathering the political will to ban them would be hard is a good excuse for not trying. I hate guns, I hate that some asshole’s right to shoot me outweighs my right not to get shot, I don’t think anyone needs a gun, and it if were up to me, every weapon on the planet would be melted down. But it’s not up to me, and the fact is that banning all weapons and keeping all weapons out of the US would be really, really hard; and without the political will to do it (which we don’t have because SOME white people in America want guns so they can feel safe around non-white people), nearly impossible. I don’t like this fact, but there it is; acknowledging it doesn’t equal avoiding other truths.

          • Red Bird

            I’m just cynical about stuff like this. I mean, if it is SOME white people who are afraid and not all, how is it that the SOME white people who aren’t afraid can’t prevail? To me there are two possibilities. Either the some who are afraid of non-whites is a significantly larger number. Or the “some white people who are afraid of non-whites” is really “most white people are afraid of non-whites” (but not everyone wants to acknowledge that part of themselves). So the lack of political will really ends up being a lack of personal honesty. Either way, as someone else mentioned, we’re really just supposed to be mad at the police and guns and ignore the fact that racism exists. Gaslight turned on high. :)

          • Sakonyachen

            It’s most white people who are afraid, but the majority of us don’t own guns. The reality is more like the way our wackjob electoral systems work, you can get elected by sticking to wingnut ideology and never actually accomplish anything. As long as the wingnuts are on your side, you continue to be elected. Then the money pours in and the cycle continues.

            It’s hard to understand when you have a parliament as opposed to our system, which goes so far towards protecting the minority from the majority that they give the minority power.

            Wyoming has 533,000 people or so and gets two senators. California has nearly forty million and gets two senators. You only need so many wingnuts to fuck up a system this imbalanced.

          • Red Bird

            That’s a good point. The way we elect representatives is kind of messed up. But I wish we as a country could do something to move beyond the fear. It’s ridiculous that a nation that prides itself on being bold and progressive holds on to something so irrational.

          • Sakonyachen

            When old guys with wooden teeth wrote the rules, it was to own slaves and not let the commoners vote, why would we meddle with such?

          • @MrsRazor66

            I don’t have a problem with guns. I’m a progressive that owns a gun for home defense and the occasional trip to the range. It’s a huge stress relief and a fun date with the hubby to head to the range for an evening and let off some steam. However, I do believe that there needs to be MUCH more gun control. There is NO reason for citizens to have assult rifles. They should be ban 100%. But in any case, private citizens isn’t the problem here. The problem here is selective bias. White cop shooting PoC=innocent cop. PoC cop & moose-lamb to boot shooting pretty white lady=guilty cop. Like, seriously. What the actual fuck?

          • Jennaratrix

            I’m all about responsible gun ownership, since no gun ownership is completely out of reach. I would never actually advocate for a complete ban on all firearms; I don’t like them, I have no reason to own one, and I don’t personally understand why anyone would want something specifically designed to kill people in their possession, but I acknowledge that the horse is out of the barn on this one. I realize that my personal preference doesn’t matter, and isn’t the only consideration. I’m not a fan of the all or nothing approach that we seem to have gotten stuck with; either anyone can get anything they want, with no attempt to have reasonable restrictions in place, OR all guns must be banished. I’d be okay with the latter, but the fact is, that’s never going to happen, and as long as that is what pro-gun people hear when anyone says “gun control,” there isn’t going to be any. People on both sides are dug in and defending their position. And meanwhile, thousands and thousands of people get shot every year.

  • Komsumverweigerer Ron

    ‘But here is someone who called the police and was trying to stop someone from being hurt… and ends up being shot in her pajamas.’
    Bennet continued, ‘How she got in her pajamas we’ll never know. Thank you, I’ll be here until the 30th. Try the shrimp!’

    • Rags

      Is this supposed to be a quote or a joke? It sucks either way.

      • Yellerduck

        People deal with tragedy in different ways. If I couldn’t make snarky jokes about the relentless tragedy we’re seeing every day, I’d go nuts. This, BTW is a riff on an old Groucho Marx routine.

        • Rags

          I’m aware of its origins. I just think you need to recalibrate your snark-o-meter

  • Well, the message I’m getting from all of these stories is that unless you or someone you see is already in a situation where you’re likely to die, don’t call the police. Also, try not to be black.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Remember – when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      This poor woman called the cops because she believed someone was being harmed.
      Also, if you have to call them, don’t interact with them if you can help it. Stay in your house, don’t come running up to their car to tell them where the bad guys are. Talk to dispatch if you have to talk to anyone. I wouldn’t have thought of it, but this is an object lesson.

  • “I mean she saves ducklings out of the sewer, for God’s sakes.”

    Diamond had a history of disturbing public utilities with intent to release wild animals on the community? She’s no angel.

    • Carpe Vagenda

      Surely people with vaginas have been known to make false rape accusations? I understand that our Secretary of Education had a meeting about it.

      (Also, speaking as a white woman, the relative of several white women, and someone who has worked or been educated with a shitpile of white women, “most innocent” is not the group descriptor that springs to mind)

  • Carpe Vagenda

    I think the distinction is made clear in Pam Geller’s incisive analysis of the shooting

    First Somali-Muslim police officer in Minnesota KILLS blonde yoga instructor in cold blood

    • NastyBossetti


    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Leave it to Pammy to find some way to make a bad situation worse.

      • Relativicus

        Pammy IS a bad situation made worse.

    • Edith Prickly

      Pammy, kindly chow down on these and stop sharting out your moronic piehole

    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      I would point out that he is hardly the first Somali officer in Minnesota, but the use of Somali-Muslim rather than Somali-American is enough bullshit for me.

      • Carpe Vagenda

        Pam is sort of special that way.

    • ariel_gee_398

      Thank god the cop is Muslim. The possibility of having to defend a cop who shot a pretty white lady would have burnt up more than a few wingnut circuits and caused a precipitous drop in our strategic derp reserves.

      • SpideySenser

        So, cuz Moose-Limb, first cop to actually be found guilty for this shit?

        • Zippy W Pinhead


      • Carpe Vagenda

        omg, the flood of anonymous ‘quotes’ from somebody some wingnut knew in the local cops about how the kid was isolated because nobody trusted him.

        Like, if that wasn’t complete made-up bullshit, which it pretty clearly is, what the fuck kind of police department would put a kid out on the street with a uniform and a gun without any support from other cops? So, the whole force are racists assholes who DGAF about citizens now? Seriously, assholes, don’t be on their side.

  • Reximus

    Coming soon to BWay…Spicy the Musical

    • Carpe Vagenda

      That’s hilarious.

      Shame the dumb bastard probably signed the private confidentiality agreement.

  • Relativicus

    It’s never gonna end period.

  • covfefesumgame0005

    what I find sickly “amusing” (not really, but…) is how the cop apologists went cra-cra over the shooter being a MOOOS-LEM immigranter and stared off blaming him for shooting her, not even realizing until pointed out to them they are blaming a COP. then sudden quiet from them…

    • tomamitai

      I don’t recall hearing this much about the background of the police officer involved in one of these shootings before, at least not this early in the investigation. Usually they won’t give anything but his name, but now we’re hearing all about his religion and race and country of origin; I wonder why?

      • thixotropic jerk

        What if it turns out he’s part of a terrist sleeper cell? What then, henngh? Thanks Obammy that’s what!

      • BearDeLaOursistance

        The Australian had an interesting piece on Noor’s past. Wish I could link it, as it implicitly raised the possibility that he’s one of the young men we periodically see who have difficulties in a relationship in their own lives, then take those difficulties out on women in general. A theory without any of the ugly cultural stereotyping, in other words.

    • sarahjane1912

      He SO got thrown under the bus over this. No need to ask why it is so extremely rare that statements re cops’ culpability are even made; most cops in this situation aren’t MOOOOO-SLEM. Sigh.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Think back on how many headlines in these cases included the ethnicity of the cop- compared to this case where it was blared out. Usually, you’d have to dig through 3/4 of the article to even identify the cop’s ethnicity, but not in this case.

  • P S

    I would rarely if ever call the police for anything. I have a gun. I can defend myself. I just never call them.

    • mardam422

      Remind me not to double park in front of your house.

      • P S

        that’s fine. I’m not some nut job. Just dont trust police. Will call them if I have too but really have to think about it.
        Park all you want….just don’t break in my house…cause then its on!

  • LucindathePook

    I just found out yesterday this murder happened on the street my SIL lives on, about five blocks away. Scary and awful.

  • Red Bird

    Yes. This 100%.

  • puredog

    Won’t someone think of Melissa McCarthy?

  • Jeff Mc Donald

    This is where we want to plant our flag? An attorney trying to advocate for the best justice, perhaps the only justice, her family will receive? There just HAS to be a better example of “racist intent” than this. You know I love you more then giant boxes of movie candy, Wonkette, but maybe there are better ways make your point that black victims are more common than others…except where I was raised, then it was, by far, Mexican-Americans. By far.

    • Juan de Fuca

      I had a bad feeling as soon as this horrible killing happened it was going to be turned into a race issue instead of a “why in the hell are so many innocent people getting killed by cops” issue. It was poor wording by the attorney to be sure but that’s not the most important thing to be pissed off about in this situation. Another innocent person needlessly lost their life because of a trigger happy cop.

      • Red Bird

        You can be pissed off about both issues at the same time. An innocent person was killed. AND justice will be meted out differently because the victim was a white woman. Both are important things to acknowledge.

        • Juan de Fuca

          And you can also be pissed off about both issues and also be disappointed with some of us using a badly worded comment by her lawyer to take away from the fact an innocent person lost their life and the thing she’s becoming most remembered for by some is for being “the pretty white girl” who woke white people. Or the girl who’s lawyer made a poorly worded statement in defending her and now everybody’s all, “See! This is how they see black people! All they care about is some pretty white blonde girl!”

          I think it’s a false narrative.

          Most of us have been woke to police injustice long before now but anytime we mention the fact that it also happens to white people, to make it a human being thing, we get shot back down by some on the left with – “Yeah but that doesn’t have anything to do with the larger problem of institutional racism so get back on message and stay focused.”

          I agree with something that Philando Castile’s mother said today – “This isn’t a black or white problem. This is a human being problem.” I’ve been thinking the same thing for years.

          • Red Bird

            I agree with you. An innocent person was killed for no reason.

          • Red Bird

            Just one more thing. is easier to recognize how much of a human issue this is if you are treated as a human being. That’s not the case for all of us. I doubt this case will change anything for those if us who wonder if this country even cares about us.

          • Juan de Fuca

            I couldn’t agree more with that, RB.

            RIP Philandro Castille and Justine Damon. We need aserious culture change when it comes to policing in this country.

    • Penny Dreadful Says Cats

      It’s not so much racist intent as it is inherent bias, which leads to so much of the unacknowledged racial injustice we are facing today.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Well, of course she’s the most innocent! She’s not guilty of existing while blah!

  • keinsignal

    I’m gonna cut the guy some slack. From the description, it sounds like the minute he heard the words coming out of his mouth, he immediately rushed to correct himself.

    I hope, at any rate, that it was just a poor choice of words. That he unthinkingly phrased this as a comparison when his intent was simply emphasis – pointing out the complete and total absence of any justification for so much as pointing a gun in Ms Damond’s direction.

    I won’t deny that there may be some latent, unconscious racism betrayed by that slip, but the fact he corrected himself in the very next breath says to me he gets the implication as well as anyone — that he does not truly believe and would never intentionally imply that Philando Castille, (or Tamir Rice, or Bettie Jones, or…), was somehow a less-innocent victim than Justine Damond.

    Comparisons are odious, as a notorious far-left agitator once said.

  • Bitter Scribe

    “Innocent” is like “pregnant” or “dead.” You either are or you aren’t; there are no degrees.

    • sarahjane1912

      Spot on. When lines like this are spouted? Makes me want to bite things. Kinda like when Drumpf was waxing on about all the ‘beautiful innocent babies’ slaughtered in Syria. Fuck off. EVERYONE killed in the gas attacks was innocent. Whole families were wiped out. His elephant tears for the babies alone just sucked. There were no degrees of deserving victims in that horror show.

    • Zippy W Pinhead
  • Rags

    I wish he had said “As innocent as can be.”

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    In all fairness, he does sound like he’s just being a lawyer and using the hyperbole to help his current client- I’d assume he’d believe the same about the next one (because you know there will be a next one).

    To the larger point that there are far too many who aren’t currently the Damond family’s lawyer who also feel that somehow her death was different or somehow more of an injustice due to her melanin deficiency- yes, their obvious hypocrisy and not at all hidden racial bias is quite disgusting- fuck ’em.

    • foiled again

      Exactly. Bob is a very, very good attorney with an equally talented firm.

    • Cynica

      Having spent many years working with lawyers, I heard the exasperation of someone who’s fought a number of these cases and finally feels like he has a shot at winning, just because of who this client is. And I think he finds it as awful as we do that this is the case.

    • Tosca

      I agree that he’s doing the best for his client. The problem is that what’s best for his client, is such blatant racist dogwhistling. His comment doesn’t just point out the systemic racism of police shootings, it covers it with glow-in-the-dark paint.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        He did seem to realize that and walked it back. Then again, if it’s my ass on the line and I hire a lawyer, I don’t really give a shit what it sounds like. I want that lawyer to do everything he can to advocate for me- not worry about fixing societal ills on my dime. Sure, it’d be nice to be able to do both. But it would be scant comfort for the Damond family if he fails to get them justice because he pulled his punches to be politically correct.

        • Red Bird

          Which is why racism won’t go away. Because at some point everyone will say the same thing about wanting to succeed regardless of how it looks.

        • Tosca

          This is true. It’s the same reason defence attorneys for accused rapists slut-shame the victims. It’s a horrific commentary on social conditions that it’s in their client’s best interests to do that…but it is. And they’re ethically obligated to use all legal means at their disposal, to do the best for their client. I can’t really blame him, but it sucks. Hard.

        • Jado

          He could have really pointed out the absurdity of the situation by pointing out the commentary on all of the other shootings. How all of the other victims were characterized as deserving of execution because of the various BS rationalizations, which all come down to “the victim was a POC”

          It would have been great to see him act all confused for the cameras as he quoted news reports and comments about the various previous shootings, and how ALL of those OTHER victims were guilty of SOMETHING, but not his client. That would have been sweet. DARE all of the news reports to go back and explain how these other victims were either guilty as shown, and therefore his client IS the least innocent; or that the previous “guilty” reports were ALL TOTAL BS.

  • Ricky Gay

    Ain’t nothing gonna change until Officer Betty Crocker guns down Snow White on 4K video. I know I know, they will blame the dwarves.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      Especially that one dwarf, Swarthy

      • Me not sure

        Don’t you mean Ali Swarthy the Sharia dwarf?

  • Rachel Book Harlot

    A million upfists for this post.

  • TheFamilyThalamusPersists

    LE candidates need psychological screening for traits like temper, bias, fear reactions, sociopathy, narcissism, & abusiveness.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    How many inner city kids go missing every day?

    But let one cute blond co-ed go missing and it becomes the 24/7 headline for the next several months

    • KenTFM

      Truth! Anyone who does not believe it look up Natalee Holloway

    • Juan de Fuca

      That was in 1986 dude. How many blonde co-ed’s have gone missing in the past 20 years that made 24/7 news for months? And are we supposed to have something against blondes because we’re liberals?

      There was a similar news story about a black American student who was tragically beaten to death in an exotic location in Greece, which was covered extensively on the MSM just this month..

      I made a joke to my wife tonight discussing some of this and how I’ve personally found that it comes across as condescending to minority friends of mine, when we white liberals start getting over apologetic for things. There are times when I honestly ask myself how many minorities many of us on the left have actually known, or consider close friends, family, etc. What’s the opposite of a “I have black friends” joke?

      My wife is a very liberal, Japanese-Murican and I asked her, can you imagine what your dad would’ve said to me if I always talked about how sorry I was for all those internment camps we white people built back in the day?

      “Yeah, he probably would’ve thought you were crazy.”

  • natoslug

    Pajamas are often baggy — how do we know she didn’t have a howitzer hidden in her pj pants? And what was she doing out so late, when only thugs and criminals and ne’er-do-wells are on the street? And why was she in an alleyway when some other unknown person was making loud noises or firing off fireworks? The fact that she wasn’t in bed, naked, and not in a neighborhood where there might be occasional loud noises that might startle the delicate flowers of hypervigilance and paranoia in blue means she was just asking to be murdered shot by a sociopathic overzealous police officer.

  • Mavenmaven

    I’m sure Fox News is scouring her background now to find if she ever smoked pot in high school and this is a thug who was rightly executed. No?

    • The Flaming Carrot

      No, they are blaming the fact that the cop who shot her was Somalian. Ditto Second City Cop;.

      • Cynica

        Fox can always find a convenient POC to blame.

      • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

        i noticed that on the chyron at hte gym the other day, it was something like, “Australian Woman Shot by Mohammed Noor, First Somali-American Cop in Minn.” – they managed to squeeze a mohammed AND a somali in there.

  • BearDeLaOursistance

    Concurrent truths. Police murder of the innocent is considerably more likely to happen to black people… AND it’s a disgusting societal ill, regardless of the individual victim’s race.

  • SadDemInTex

    Everything about this stuff is totally fucked up. When will this insanity be rectified.

  • whitroth

    “The most ever” is an idiocy. Well, short of landing on the Moon, or the Trinity test, and this ain’t either of those, and all the others in the last few years?

    Why is it that I’ve always read most cops don’t ever use their gun in 20 years of policing – is the situation now that right-wing assholes are hiring cowardly, terrified bigots, who should never have gotten in the door?

  • mailman27

    1. Screening.
    2. Training.
    3. This shit doesn’t happen nearly as often.

  • TX Dept. of Space Tacos


    You’re missing an “i” in “possible” in the opening Graf.

  • TootsStansbury

    I’ve got nothing except very angry and possibly rule breaking thoughts so:

  • theCryptofishist

    So, the Minneapolis police chief was asked to resign, and did. Which leaves me partly saying–good, maybe police will start paying attention, now that there have been some real consequences; leaving me conflicted because she’s a lesbian, and who knows how many cops will find it perfectly acceptable to fire her on for that reason alone; and disgust that this was the 2nd shooting, but the first blonde shooting, and we’re back where we started, with black lives being treated as lesser.
    Happy Friday.

  • UnsaltedSinner

    This is usually where wingnuts come in to declare that the person the cops decided to shoot was no angel, but in this case I guess they have decided that she was an angel, for reasons which are very mysterious and can’t be explained by anyone.

    • JesusWasAHippie

      I always cross the street whenever I see a young white woman approaching, especially the blonde ones. Bitches be crazy.

    • sgt. jmk of the résistance

      Also too, that it’s OK to blame the Somali-immigrant cop who shot her because of some mysterious reason I can’t quite put my finger on.

  • Red Bird

    I know this is old but I can’t help but notice the stark difference in the way this woman’s death at the hands of a police office is being treated as compared to the death of Philando Castille (and other black people). Has anyone noticed that the police charged the office within days of the shooting? No calls for anyone to wait to get the facts. Even as the body cameras were off so they could have made something up the same way they did in other cases. No wait to hear from the police chief as the union consoled the officer while he was getting full pay. And the news coverage of this has focused on the religion of the officer but not the fact that he was doing his job and needed to be respected. No “All Lives Matter” people. Even the protest against this woman’s shooting is being described as peaceful, not angry. I know the sentiment here is that it is wrong to focus on race in this situation but how can anyone not notice that black people are treated worse in this country. In almost every aspect. Even in death, they’re treated as less than. It is amazing how easily everyone has accepted that this woman was innocent. No one has even suggested that there was a chance she was rushing at the officer, we actually haven’t heard anything from the officer about how he feared for his life. No one has insinuated that she didn’t follow the officer’s directions or give him reason to be afraid. Everyone just assumed she was innocent. No one asked why she was outside of her house. No one combed her social media to find proof of guilt or unflattering pictures. I mean no offense to anyone who is white but seriously, this is not right.

    • HazooToo

      This is what I was afraid of. I have been wondering what would happen if this were treated differently from our usual shootings of late. I didn’t actually want to find out, but here we are, and it’s happening, and I don’t know what to expect if this cop is convicted and sent to prison while all those other murderers go free. I do know for sure that I will never trust another police officer. That ship sailed a long time ago.

      • Red Bird

        Black Americans have always known that there is a double standard because its part of everyday life. I’m sure this police officer will be convicted and no one will spend a moment to ask why. And nothing will change.

        • HazooToo

          It’s not okay. I don’t know what to do about it.

          • Red Bird

            I don’t know what to do either.

          • HazooToo

            I guess the plan is ‘Survive’ long enough for someone smarter than us to come up with a real plan, and then do the hell out of that.

          • Red Bird

            Or be brave enough to admit that this country has a problem.

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