1. Family hopes to bring Justine Damond back to Australia
Star Tribune: Family members of Justine Damond say they hope to bring her back to her native Australia to say goodbye. Damond, 40, died half a world and an ocean away from her home country in an alley near her Minneapolis home Saturday, killed by police gunfire after placing a 911 call to report a possible sexual assault.
“All we want to do is bring Justine home to Australia to farewell her in her hometown among family and friends,” her family wrote in a statement e-mailed to the Star Tribune late Wednesday. “We are still trying to come to terms with this tragedy and we are struggling to understand how and why this could happen.”
“We are in constant contact with the Australian Government, and representatives of the US Government and Minnesota State authorities,” the family wrote in the e-mail. “We want to see the investigation come to a conclusion, as soon as possible, so we have some resolution to the tragedy.”
Family and friends joined hundreds of mourners who carried candles and flowers to Sydney’s Freshwater Beach early Wednesday for a silent tribute.
The yoga instructor and meditation teacher moved from Sydney to Minneapolis several years ago to be with her fiancé, Don Damond, who is vice president and general manager of Little Six Casino in Prior Lake, according to his LinkedIn account. The two had planned to marry in August. Damond regularly led meditation at Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, where a memorial of chalk messages, flowers and small tokens of lament has emerged in the days since her death.
Community Gathers to Honor Life of Justine Damond
Channel 5: A crowd gathered Thursday evening in the South Minneapolis neighborhood where Justine Damond lived to walk in her honor. Along the shore of Lake Harriet, the crowd gathered to hear Damond's family and neighbors speak. They called for justice for her death, but at the same time asked for a peaceful response from the community in her honor. "She lived a life where she would be right here with us," Sharon Sebring said, who is the mother of Damond's fiance. "I would be serving no purpose if I spoke on behalf of the family with hate or anger, because our mission is to serve her purpose."
2. Attorney Releases Officer's Body Cam Video in North Minneapolis Dog Shooting
Kstp: The footage, which is graphic at points, provides the perspective of the officer who shot and injured two pit bulls while responding to a burglary alarm call at the home of Jennifer LeMay on July 8 on the 3800 block of Queen Avenue North.
The dogs, Ciroc and Rocko, survived but required significant medical treatment.
Two officers responded to a burglary alarm at LeMay's home. One of LeMay's children had inadvertently tripped the home security system, she said, adding that the security company canceled the alert four minutes later.
The officers didn't arrive until 9:15 p.m., according to security footage at the home. Mike Padden, LeMay's attorney, obtained the body camera video after working with the Minneapolis City Attorney's office.
Officer Michael Mays body cam footage shows the Mays approaching the back of the house with his weapon drawn, before backing away as one of the dogs comes into view from the side of the house.
The dog is seen running toward him with his tail wagging, while the gun is trained toward the animal. The dog, Ciroc, then stops and turns to the side, still wagging his tail, as Mays continues to back away.
Ciroc then begins to walk toward the officer, tail still wagging, before Mays fires a shot and strikes the dog. The second dog, Rocko, then runs toward him, and he shoots Rocko, too.
The audio then kicks in, and Mays is heard saying, "Yeah, I dispatched both of them." He then holstered his weapon and climbed over the back fence.
He then goes to the front door, where he speaks with LeMay's daughter, who was visibly shaken and crying. The daughter said she assumed LeMay had called police to cancel the burglary alarm.
"I'm gonna sit there and say sorry about this," Mays tells her. "I don't like shooting no dogs. I love dogs, so, it's unfortunate."
The video ends shortly after the second officer tells Mays to turn off his body camera. Mays has had five complaints filed through the Office of Police Conduct Review, all of which were closed with no discipline.
3. OJ Simpson granted parole in Nevada robbery
Associated Press: O.J. Simpson will be paroled after serving nine years in prison for a botched bid to retrieve sports memorabilia in Las Vegas. A Nevada parole board decided Thursday that the 70-year-old former football, TV and movie star will be released in October after serving his minimum term for armed robbery and assault with a weapon. Simpson responded emotionally, saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Four parole commissioners in Carson City questioned Simpson by videoconference from the Lovelock Correctional Center in rural Nevada. He has been held there since he was convicted in 2008. The conviction came 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of murder in 1995 in the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles.
4. Laptop ban put in place after explosive test destroyed airplane
The Hill: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Wednesday that the temporary ban on large electronics in carry-on luggage on U.S.-bound international flights announced in March was set into motion after a similar explosive destroyed an aircraft during a test.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced in March a temporary ban on large electronics in passenger cabins of nonstop international flights from certain airports into the U.S. The ban included 10 airports in North African and Middle Eastern countries. A U.S. intelligence official told CBS News that the new ban was put in place because of an intelligence report that found a terrorist plot seeking to use explosives hidden in a laptop to destroy a commercial flight. Kelly said at a security conference that the TSA had tested two similar explosive devices concealed in large electronic devices.
The 10 airports targeted by the ban have since implemented the new security measures required since March by the U.S. ban, as verified by U.S. officials. U.S.-bound travelers from about 300 international airports will now face increased security measures and may be required to present electronic for inspection.
5. Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington kills himself at 41
TheWrap: Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, was found dead in his home Thursday morning at the age of 41, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office confirmed. At 8:56 a.m., local police responded to an address in the 2800 block of Via Vittoria in Palos Verdes Estates in L.A. County. The Coroner’s office responded shortly after 9 a.m. and is current at the scene conducting a full investigation.
The death is being treated as an apparent suicide. TMZ first reported the news.
Bennington was good friends with Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who was found dead in May. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging. Yesterday, July 20, was Cornell’s birthday.
Linkin Park was scheduled to play Aug. 15 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. It's not clear what the status of the band's tour is in the wake of Bennington's death. The singer leaves behind six children with two wives.