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Authorities Searched Damond's Home; Law Prof Believes That Could 'Cause An International Incident'

March 25, 2019 11:47 AM

Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators were granted permission to search Justine Damond's home hours after she was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer, according to court records.

A criminal law expert can't understand why.

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"I don't understand why they're looking for bodily fluids inside her home," said Joseph Daly, an emeritus professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, referring to one of two recently-released search warrant applications. 

"Whose bodily fluids are they looking for? Is she a suspect? I don't understand why they're looking for controlled substances inside her home. I don't understand why they're looking for writings inside her home. The warrant does not explain that to me."

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"When I read that search warrant, I really cannot find probable cause to search her home," he continued.

According to court documents, investigators applied for the warrant on the following grounds: 

  • The property or things above-described was used as a means of committing a crime
  • The possession of the property or things above-described constitutes a crime.
  • The property or things above-described is in the possession of a person with intent to use such property as a means of committing a crime, or the property or things so intended to be used are in the possession of another to whom they have been delivered for the purpose of concealing them or preventing their being discovered.
  • The property or things above-described constitutes evidence which tends to show a crime has been committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed a crime.

Asked if that means the BCA considers Damond to be a suspect, spokesperson Jill Oliveira replied via email:

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"No, an individual involved in the incident."

Daly, who said he has served as a visiting professor at the University of Queensland in Damond's native Australia, believes concerned members of the public in both countries will be outraged by the BCA's request to search the home.

"It's going to cause an international incident," he said. "I mean the prime minister of Australia already talked about this case on international television, and I think Australians are going to go berserk if they think the focus is on this woman as a suspect."

According to court documents, investigators did not end up taking any evidence from Damond's home.

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Josh Rosenthal

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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