Women's Rights Advocates Question Police Response to Damond's 911 Calls

July 20, 2017 06:43 PM

Women's rights advocates have questions following the release of transcripts of the calls 40-year-old Justine Damond made to 911 before she was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer Saturday night.

Was the nine minutes and 41 seconds it took officers to arrive on the scene too long? And why did Damond need to call 911 twice to report a possible sexual assault behind her home?

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Damond called for the first time at 11:27 p.m. Saturday. She told the dispatcher she could hear someone behind her house.

"I'm not sure if she's having sex or being raped," she said.

It's been going on for a while and I think she tried to say help and it sounds distressed," she added.

Eight minutes later, she called 911 again.

"No one's here and (I) was wondering if they got the address wrong," she asked.

Officers did show up, nine minutes and 41 seconds after the first emergency call.

"Since she's reporting a sexual assault in progress, we're concerned about the length of response time," said Caroline Palmer, the public and legal affairs manager for the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA).

Palmer also questioned why Damond had to call twice for police. And why things ended the way they did.

Bystander intervention is key to preventing these types of crimes.

"This was an ideal situation for bystander intervention to come through and work, unfortunately, it resulted very differently for Justine and the potential victim," said Hannah Laniado, the prevention program manager with the MNCASA.

KSTP looked into Minneapolis police response times, and found the average response to high priority 911 calls was nine minutes and five seconds during the first part of 2016.

The end of 2015 was slower with an average time of nine minutes and 26 seconds.

"She (Justine) was doing what we hope everyone would do and it ended tragically," Palmer said.

Palmer and Laniado are also concerned about the potential victim of the sexual assault, saying they want to make sure that person knows there help out there.

Credits

Jessica Miles

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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