“We stand with the people of Australia in demanding justice for Justine Damond,” Levy-Pounds said. “Her death could have been prevented. Were it not for the increasing militarisation of US police forces, she would still be alive today.”
Levy-Pounds, who was a leading figure in protests against the police killings of unarmed black men Jamar Clarke and Philando Castile, said Damond was the latest casualty of a “flawed system of policing”.
“The tragic and senseless death of Justine Damond at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department illustrates everything that is wrong with our system of policing in the US,” she said.
“For years, activists and community members have raised concerns about the ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ mentality amongst some police officers. Beyond that, police officers have routinely escaped accountability for perpetuating violence against civilians and have been allowed to kill with impunity. Justine Damond is the latest casualty of a flawed system of policing, that is urgently in need of being overhauled. The fact that her case has been shrouded in a cloak of secrecy merely reinforces concerns surrounding a lack of transparency and accountability within this system.”
Damond is believed to have been living in the US for at least the past three years. Her personal website says she trained as a veterinarian and practised yoga and meditation for 17 years.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it was providing consular support to the family of an Australian woman killed in the US.