A 40-year-old woman who family members said called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home Saturday night was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer.Well, it's bizarre. A few thoughts:
The shooting happened at the end of the alley on W. 51st Street between Washburn and Xerxes avenues S. in the city’s Fulton neighborhood.
The woman, Justine Damond, from Sydney, Australia, and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn.
Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said. No weapon was found at the scene.
- I've written about St. Anthony, the community that employed the police officer who killed Philando Castile, and I will be writing more about it in the coming days. St. Anthony is a sleepy enclave, largely well-to-do, and my property borders on it. Fulton, the south Minneapolis neighborhood where the latest incident took place, is livelier than St. Anthony, but also largely well-to-do. 50th Street, one block to the north of where the shooting took place, is a busy but largely genteel thoroughfare with plenty of gentry retail to be found, with the commercial mecca of 50th and France about a half-mile to the west. It's a place where the violence of the city just doesn't happen much.
- My sister-in-law and her family lived in the area for years. Their house was in Linden Hills, about a half-mile to the north, in between Lake Harriet and Southwest High School. It's a high-demand area and houses that go on the market there are often sold before the sign goes up in the front yard. It's not a place where you would expect much violence.
- Fulton is the neighborhood that Betsy Hodges, the embattled mayor of Minneapolis, represented in the city council. Fulton, Linden Hills, Lynnhurst and the other neighborhoods in the area are among the nicest places in Minneapolis. They are illusions, places where wealth and privilege insulate people from the realities that obtain elsewhere. Much of what we'll see in the coming days will represent an effort to maintain the illusion. I'll be watching this case, too.