Twin Police Killings in the Twin Cities

Black and White Like Day and Night

from BBC News

A Minneapolis police officer whose partner shot an Australian woman was “startled by a loud sound” just before the incident, investigators say.

Justine Damond, originally from Sydney, was gunned down after calling police to report a possible crime.

On a police radio recording, an officer mentions fireworks being let off near where the shooting happened.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said he wants answers from the US over the killing.

“It is a shocking killing, and yes, we are demanding answers on behalf of her family,” he told Australian TV.

The shooting occurred as 40-year-old Ms Damond, dressed in her pyjamas, approached the driver’s side door to talk to the officer at the wheel after police arrived.

Officer Mohamed Noor, who was sitting in the passenger seat, fired his weapon across his partner and through the driver’s side window, striking Ms Damond, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said.

Officer Noor has refused to speak to investigators and US authorities say they cannot compel him to give a statement.

But the BCA said that Officer Matthew Harrity, who was driving the car, had told investigators that Ms Damond had come towards the car immediately after he heard a loud sound.

After the shooting, the officers are heard on the police radio recording telling dispatchers they are performing CPR and that “no suspects are at large”.

State investigators say the officers failed to activate their body or dashboard cameras and both officers have been placed on administrative leave.

Why weren’t the cameras on?

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman have both raised this question.

Minneapolis police are required to switch on their body cameras only during certain encounters, unlike in Los Angeles or Washington DC, where cameras must be switched on for any response to a call for service.

Instead, there are more than a dozen situations in which cameras should be used, according to the police manual, which adds that failure to use the camera could result in job termination.

“If a BWC [body-worn camera] is not activated prior to a use of force, it shall be activated as soon as it is safe to do so,” reads the manual.

Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau has described Ms Damond’s death as “tragic” and called for a quick investigation to provide “transparency”.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has said he will personally decide whether to charge Officer Mohamed Noor, rather than put the question to a grand jury.

Officer Noor, who has been described by local media as a Somali-American, has been with the police force for two years.

A statement from his lawyer said he had arrived in the US “at a young age” and described him as “a caring person with a family he loves and he empathised with the loss others are experiencing”.

Ms Damond, born Justine Ruszczyk, studied to be a veterinarian before relocating from Sydney to the US, where she is believed to have been for at least the last three years.

According to her website, she was a “qualified yoga instructor, a personal health and life coach and meditation teacher”.

Speaking in Sydney, her father John Ruszczyk said: “Justine was a beacon to all of us, we only ask that the light of justice shine down on the circumstances of her death.”

Two victims in the Twin Cities

Ms Damond’s death comes a year after Officer Jeronimo Yanez shot Philando Castile, a black man, during a traffic stop in St Paul – the twin city of Minneapolis – in an incident live-streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend.

Mr Castile had told the officer that he was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and was reaching for his wallet to get his driving licence out when he was shot, his girlfriend said on the video.

Officer Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter last month – a verdict that Mr Castile’s mother said showed the system “continued to fail black people”.

On Wednesday morning, hundreds of people gathered for a dawn vigil at a Sydney beach to honour Ms Damond.

In silence, attendees including her family and friends lit candles and released pink flowers into the ocean.

“We are here to come together as a community around our beautiful Justine, to honour her life, share our love and mourn her death,” Ms Damond’s family said in a statement ahead of the vigil.



  1. I left a comment on this on your most recent police shooting civilian story (of 15 yr old) to tell you this police chief resigned. The new one is a Black man. He’s not sworn in yet.

    When I wrote that other comment I did not yet know if he (the cop who shot her) was raised in Somalia or here. The fact that he is American & grew up here makes half of my comment there irrelevant. (Someone had mentioned that maybe he grew up in that war torn country etc.). So just disregard that part. (You can delete the whole thing if you want).

    The fireworks going off does not make sense. That supposedly happened just when she got to the car. Yet there are no witnesses. So then who was outside setting them off? Also she heard an assault taking place. But someone was outside setting fireworks off at the same time? And the body cameras were off. This whole story is really weird. I hope they do a full autopsy on her. Something does not make sense.

    Why isn’t the policeman talking?

    If he is American why do they keep saying “Somalian” & “Somali”? Wow. I thought he was a recent immigrant because of that! If he were Irish or Anglo or Polish or Italian American they would not be saying this in every article & report. It’s dog whistle racism.

    1. This case is just the intersection of everything.

      Absolutely. And because she is, I assume, a foreign national or at the very least, a recent immigrant, it brings international attention to the problem of out of control cops in the USA, and perhaps international embarrassment. As well as highlighting the fact that this happens on a daily basis to black Americans with little acknowledgement from the press and the national government, and no recognition that it is a systemic problem in police forces throughout the nation.

  2. The fireworks going off does not make sense.

    no it doesnt. i had not heard this.

  3. First: I made a mistake w/ “hope they doa full autopsy”; I should have written ‘did’ as they already released the results saying she died from being shot in the stomach/abdomen.

    Second: “fireworks” is what some people are calling the “loud sound” reported in articles. That’s what I don’t understand. I have to see if that was another quote from the policeman (partner) who spoke. Or if this was just journalists (?) or others (?) extrapolating on “loud sound”. So probably that’s why you hadn’t read that. Since you mostly get your news from RT it might be more accurate. (Joke… about the first part of that sentence…).

    If I was the family I would have a SEPARATE private autopsy done. I’m not sure if that was done (?). Because was the autopsy done by the state? City? I forgot how that works. I would trust no one… & certainly not the same people who employ the police who shot & killed her.

    And the following is going to be controversial. But I do not trust that any two men alone w/ any woman or girl in her pajamas who ends up dead w/ no explanation are telling the truth. What if the very weird ‘shot through the car window’ explanation is a lie. What if there were an assault.

    The policeman who is not talking has three prior complaints against him; one of which is in the courts (a lawsuit? I’ve forgotton. You can find that online via mainstream news sources). This would not be a ‘stranger things happen’ scenario. Because women have been assaulted by ambulance drivers & policemen & doctors etc. before. Did they carefully check the trajectory of the bullet? The through the car window story is weird. What is the history of the partner in the driver seat… who was on the force for a shorter time. Are they covering up for each other?

    The parents & their lawyer need to hire a PI. Now that they have stepped Through the Looking Glass to follow their daughter into our distorted U.S. world. They should not trust any city investigation or autopsy results etc.

    The other thing & I wrote this before. I know it’s controversial. But how does anyone know that this policeman was not so upset by the Philando Castile verdict that it was a vigilante act. After Philando Castile’s mom astutely pointed out that it could happen to anyone next… & then this only a brief time later. (I am not saying she meant she wanted it to happen. I completely got what she meant. So sorry for her). We simply have zero idea what was going through that man’s head. I mean what a weird coincidence. That verdict came down & now this.

    Why aren’t body cameras made so that they cannot be turned off? I had not a clue the police had the ability to turn them on & off!… ! What is the point of having them at all then?!

    Good points on “international attention”. Sadly The U.S. & most Americans don’t care about & are not influenced by the rest of the world’s questioning & condemnation of our craziness. Look at the Newtown massacre & gun control or U.S. support of Israel during the 2006 ‘July War’ (not a ‘war’ when against civilians!) & the murder of Gazan civilians in 2008 (500+ children alone murdered).

    Whatever happened it is surely intersectional in the most heartbreaking ways.

    1. But how does anyone know that this policeman was not so upset by the Philando Castile verdict that it was a vigilante act.

      Not likely. Black policeman, in my experience and from what I have otherwise observed, generally have the same attitude towards blacks as white policemen. They likely identify more with the cop that shot Castile than with Castile.

      1. I know what you mean. I am seeing things w/ the Lebanese half of me!

        My brothers Palestinians & Lebanese &c. sometimes completely lose it & take part in revenge; such as what is going back & forth in Israeli State last few days: Israeli blocking of Mosque > protests by Palestinians > Israeli killing of protesters > Palestinian breaking into Israeli house & killing family. That’s one of the troubles w/ an honour based culture.

        I had a Somalian girlfriend in Brooklyn when I lived there (very tiny & thin & cute. To explode youknowwho’s anti-African multiple “thick”) posts on that blog saying “thin” is “ugly”!). They recognise we have a very similar culture. So I thought perhaps the honour culture is the same also. And I think anything is possible; but I take your point now.

        I’m not trying to start a rumour or throw any of my brothers or cousins under the wheels. I believe in our self-reflection (re. faults of honour culture).

        Note: If you are reading this U.S. Gov; by “brothers” I do not mean those in my family OR anyone I know/have known in my personal life. (Check the rest of my file).

      2. In general, I have found whites to be more accepting of African immigrants than they are of native black Americans. And again, I dont think African immigrants see themselves as black Americans. The Somali-American designation is apt, esp if he comes from A Somali American community.

      3. You’re right & it’s an understandable point you made about referring to him as Somali/Somalian. They should call out Irish & Italian etc. cops then also! (love me love my thorny opinions).

        You’re right. I heard that African immigrants were allowed to sit at lunch counters etc. — during Jim Crow civil rights violations — when Black Americans were not.

        Also I heard from older Black musician friends from Chicago & New Orleans that one of the reasons some Black American jazz musicians took Arabic names was not only because they converted to Islam (which was probably sincere); but also so they could play at clubs & bars & restaurants & venues where they were not allowed otherwise.

        And that came from what I wrote you of yesterday on your enslaved persons thesis you posted here. About how some West African enslaved people were educated literate in Arabic Muslims before they were kidnapped. I didn’t go into detail there (just told you I would send the titles of books & link the articles later); but as you probably know they were accepted more by the White people who enslaved them & White society. They were romanticised as Arabs of every shade were. It was the height of Orientalism in writing & art & design then in Western Europe & America. Hence they were given positions as house ‘servants’/’slaves’ (quotes) & paper/pen/ink to write on & nicer rooms & clothes etc.

        I felt that was part of the slaughtering I got on that other blog. Of course that is just an assumption. But I think I recognise it also. I am not an Arab American who just got here. I’m American also. Born here. Raised here. Family here since 1890s. I get the priviledges that even Arabs that look ‘black’ benefit from. (And Oriental/Sephardic/African Jews etc.). And I don’t think they understood that on that blog. Obviously my dad advanced farther in NYC because he was semitic working w/ other semitic people; even if in Apalachian Ohio he was taken for “a Black man” or in by Jamaicans: Jamaican. I tried to make that clear already in the open thread where Astrofem invited me to ask me about my father. That’s why I would never say only ‘Black’ or ‘Black American’ to describe Arabs taken for ‘black’ (which some are). But then one gets slammed as if one doesn’t want to be ‘Black’/’Black American’ associated w/ ‘Black African Americans’. Because as I explained I & no other Arab American is trying to plead parity w/ that 400+ years of suffering. We have our own separate troubles. (perpetual foreigner & terrorist Orientalist tropes… what Edward Said said…).

        It’s an impossible bind though. A damned if do/don’t scenario. That’s why when Astrofem kept asking me questions on that open thread — I typed in the following poem I’d written awhile ago. But it must have made her angry instead; like I was telling her to be quiet. But I was only answering her after she asked me ‘What it means to (me) to be an Arab’. Because what it means to me is I am really really tired of the near constant questions & always having to explain myself:

        MAHRAJAN (*festival):

        Let us meet together

        Under the wooden sound
        in the bowl to make mamoul

        Under the dancer’s foot

        Inside the blackened almond eye

        After our true stories arrive in shards…

        The Song
        & responding shouts

        at a festival

        the LOUD HANDC L A P S
        the dancer’s naked foot
        d r u m

      4. That reminds me! One of George Washington’s favorite slaves wore a turban! I’ll see if I can find the picture. Obviously he was Muslim.

      5. you know he was high ranking. its a double portrait and washington wanted this man in it.

      6. i did a paper on this in grad school. blacks in art. i called this type an appanage. i will have to dig it from my files when i have a chance.

      7. I just looked up ‘appanage’. It means ‘a gift of land or position or belongings given to the son of a king’ ? (The online dictionaries say it’s ‘archaic’. More proof that The Nomad is an extraterrestrial time traveller).

      8. i coined its use as a type of painting which is a picture of a slave owner and his/her property. it is a sub genre of portrait painting. esp in america. but in europe too. during the slave era.

      9. “coined”

        Very nice bit of linguistic recycling of archaic words Sir! (clapping)

        The Nomad — destroyer of WORDS

        or better:

        The Nomad — creator of words

        or even better:

        The Nomad — creative destroyer of words

  4. Correction:

    Should have read ‘or in Jamaica by Jamaicans: Jamaican’

    Left out the most important word ‘Jamaica’! When he was over there on the island. I wasn’t referring to a Jamaican community here in NYC or CT etc.

    In Heaven there’s no need to proofread six times!

    NPR is talking about the 5oth anniversary of the 1967 Detroit ‘uprising’ now. The Government bombed several buildings in the middle of a residential block. My mum had a book on it that was written shortly afterward that described that; but I’m not sure if they are going to mention it now. It was like when residential neighbourhoods in Palestine are bombed. Or what my mum experienced in Berlin. (Probably why she had that book).

  5. Our posts crossed! Send as many of those images as you can! I’d love to see them.

    Re. my last comment. There’s a new film about this called ‘Detroit’ by Kathleen Bigelow they are saying now. (I’m not sure if I want to see it because she made ‘Hurt Locker’ & I didn’t see that because I suspected it would have anti-Arab stuff in it that would really make me angry. I think I saw a trailer or something & was like ‘Here we go…’).

    If you send me images of Muslim enslaved people from West Africa I may blow them up & print them! Bad choice of words! ‘Muslim’ & ‘blow them up’ will now have Uncle Sam visiting your blog. Of course I meant ‘enlarge’.

    On the subject of painting: Salvador Dali exhumation (which I think is evil) has taken place. His moustache was completely intact. Which amazed everyone… including the man who was his embalmer who was also present at the exhumation. No description of the rest of him. Thank God. It probably was intact from all the moustache wax. Mr.Dali may love this. (I’m positive he is watching us…). That his moustache is surviving the rest of his physical body. Memory eternal ❤

  6. I understand what you are saying about immigrants — African or Yemeni etc. — who look like Black AAs but keep themselves separate.

    I can only speak for my own experience in the Arab American community; but I think it has to do w/ dislike of all American culture for many Africans & Arabs. Premarital sex / love marriage vs. arranged marriage / cursing (for people who don’t even ask where the bathroom is or discuss anything below the waste) / revealing dress (I worked in fashion & I am freaked out by what some girls & women of every colour go out in public wearing!) / fighting with elderly people vs. just saying ‘Yes’ or changing the subject — even if we disagree with them / fatigue from misconceptions about African and/or Muslim and/or Arabic culture (Americans don’t know a lot about the places that even their ancestors come from & sometimes it is fantasy) / difference in etiquette (people can be insulted if a gift isn’t reciprocated or food & drink not offered or accepted) / so many other things!

    This is true of Arab immigrant Muslims & Arab Americans for example. I’m not sure but it is probably true for some East Asians as well. I lived in Prospect Heights Brooklyn which was the Jamaican neighbourhood in NYC then (now gentrified) & the elderly Jamaicans were not at all happy about what the young American born NYC Jamaicans were getting into. The elderly gentleman who was renovating our building had some of his family in London & some in Canada & some in NYC & had a lot of thoughts on Canada & England vs. NYC etc. So sometimes it is about customs & etiquette that people are familiar with.

    1. the elderly Jamaicans were not at all happy about what the young American born NYC Jamaicans were getting into.

      same is true of older members of black american community. like me. god damn gangster rap.

  7. Re. Painting of George Washington w/ well dressed valet wearing a kefiyah & your paper etc. (comments above 22 July / 5.19pm etc.):

    Now you need an art category as well as a film category! Or rather ‘Black people in…’ category. ‘Black people in astrophysicism…’ …

    Re. well dressed valets & other enslaved servants of people like Washington. This was true of all kinds of servants that had very close intimate contact w/ the wealthy upper classes; up until about WWI which flattened the aristocracy.

    They saw it as a reflection on themselves who they were around all the time. Hence a valet or groom (man who took care of their personal horse) being dressed well etc. It’s narcissism. Like when narcissists now will only associate w/ people they consider to be above them or equal to them in status. (Vs. judging people by their behaviour & values etc.).

  8. “gangster rap”

    Crossed emails again. In that Studio360 on ‘Native Son’ someone (Black American writer who wrote a book on influences on Hip Hop) said that Richard Wright w/ the Bigger Thomas character in ‘Native Son’ influenced gangster rap lyrics. I thought that was a brilliant way of looking at it.

    But then I’ve heard people ask if young kids are getting that. I would never say that or judge. Being half first gen. German & second gen. Arab American! What do I know. I’m sure enough people are already sick of my endless pontificating on my own two larger families’ issues… without judging others…

    I love some beats a LOT & then can’t listen to the lyrics. But that’s only because I don’t curse & live by Arab modesty etiquette & can’t even watch violence in films! (I’m that girl w/ her hands over her eyes saying ‘Tell me when it’s over’).

    Were you into old school originals like Kurtis Blow? (Before it was called ‘old’ & just the latest record he put out!). Or Fab Freddy?! Hahaha. It sounds so tame now.

    But you like rap because you linked to something here the other day. Like Outkast?

    I was on the fringe of that early NYC scene c.1980/81. Fab Freddy & the Furious Five played the basketball court at the end of my block. Wearing the wildest matching track suit anyone has ever seen! Some graffiti artists I knew painted the wall at the back of the court for that also. (Which was actually the side of an old brick tenement building). Someone painted over that sadly… because it stayed there for years. And I think the court is a park now. Which is probably full of strollers & people drinking coffee on their phones now.

    But also I was married to a musician & these really young break dancers used to just lay down a piece of cardboard in front of him & do head spins etc. It’s always bothered me that people say Michael Jackson invented the ‘moonwalk’. Really young Black kids were doing that in Times Square where we spent a lot of time in 1980 already. They were amazing! Tiny young kids maybe ten or eleven years old! It was something they got from NYC street mimes that played in the street there also.

    A lot of the graffiti artists & musicians I knew blew up. Beginning in 1981 when they were introduced to Warhol. Like Jean Michel Basqiat… really really close friend of a good friend of mine.

    Friends of mine used to go into the subway yards & bomb (paint w/ spraypaint) the trains.

    I should stop using words like ‘blew up’ & ‘bomb’ here. You are now being monitored by our govt. (& probably some others like the State of Israel as well). You may thank me later. I should shut up anyway. Before I turn into a comic book version of ‘When I was young…’ only about painting massive multi-car murals on the trains… Zzz…

    1. wow. thats great. you were a part of that scene, huh? thats really something.

    2. did you like the movie basquiat. the one that was by another artist whos name i cant remember right now but who you probably know? did you meet warhol?

  9. No but I think I had Warhol’s sofa from The Factory!

    A girl moved into my building (who I didn’t know) & she was seeing this street artist (who was friends w/ the assistant teacher in my screenprinting class at School of Visual Arts; who was btw another NYC artist & also the prof himself had been an assistant to Warhol at The Factory). When she moved he asked me if I wanted this very early 60s crescent shaped (like a rectangle but curved) pink sofa. Then later I saw it in an old photo of the first (or second?) Factory & thought ‘That’s my sofa!…!!! And he was friends w/ Warhol. He’s Mexican American & from LA & screenprinted skulls on all sorts of things. On T-shirts & scarves etc. for a living… besides painting. (Before anyone else was doing that. He really got ripped off by the fashion world). If you watch the film ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’; she’s got that black hat box w/ white skulls printed on it. That was his. He was friend’s w/ the lead actress (I’m determined not to type anyone’s name here… except Warhol etc.) boyfriend & record producer who was a friend of mine briefly. (Who went on to produce a lot of other people). So no! I never met Warhol but I think I had his sofa! Unless there were two doppelganger sofas! That was a stupid NY story. In which meaningless minutiae takes up a twenty minute expanse of time.

    Aside from those graffiti & street artists & musicians; my sister’s former fiance — who she met in beauty school in CT — met & knew Warhol. He went on to become an international hairdresser (still based in NYC) who does fashion editorial in magazines & runway & red carpet & for awhile now weird sculptural artwork of hair & on people’s heads. He did Lady (starts w/ a ‘G’ & sounds like baby talk) hair for awhile.

    People romanticise that scene but it was very dark. With a lot of soulless very damaged people. It intersected w/ a post punk noise music scene that was very dark. (Jean Michel was a musician also: in a band called ‘Grey’). That was the really dark scene. They made the Hip Hop artists in the scene look like choir boys. And of course Jean Michel didn’t survive.

    It was pretty terrible. Honestly we all lived in horrible slumlord apartments. The roofs had no antenae so nobody had a TV. (Hence all the creativity & so many of those artists/musicians/actors getting famous). No air conditioning because those ancient tenements had like one outlet in each room — that had been wired in the 1930s probably. Two if lucky. So it was sweltering in these brick buildings that we used to joke were giant pizza ovens. With roaches. And rats. And drug dealers w/ knives. And then freezing when our boiler broke & there was no heat all winter. My shampoo froze. We were surrounded by burnt out buildings that covered everything w/ soot.

    I was married at 21. And then I wasn’t & I couldn’t wait to get out of there. And eventually I found this community of Arab & African artists & writers & musicians & scholars & human rights advocates in the City that were so healthy. And also went back to my indigenous Lebanese & Syrian Church(es).

    It was weird for me when I would run into some of those people or read about them (because so many got famous) & they were still angry or searching or even for one musician in particular still fighting drug addiction. They seemed so immature to me. Because I’d become a human rights advocate for Arab Americans & Palestinians by then. And then I’d run into one of those people from the neighbourhood that was still making some angry music & doing drugs & they seemed like they hadn’t evolved at all.

    I never did drugs. Nor did my husband — even though he was a musician in NY playing w/ musicians that did. People really romanticise that whole scene but it was a Dante’s circle.

    It was a blast also. I was young — age 20 to 29. But I couldn’t wait to get out of there. A lot of New Yorkers can’t wait to leave. Especially then. Another musician friend of mine born & raised in Greenwich Village moved to SF. As did a ballet dancer friend of ours (dad was a famous AA jazz musician). Some Americans assume NYers are snobs about the City — but a lot can’t wait to leave! For awhile now people have been moving upstate (near Woodstock). Even Frank Serpico lives up there! And of course your fellow extraterrestrial David Bowie moved up there… before he left us for his home planet…

    I may have seen all or part of the film ‘Basquiat’. Those films are weird. They’re just pretentious. (Despite I love his other films… Julian Schnabel… who was a painter & befriended Jean Michel in real life). Hahaha. Remember those TV cop shows in the 60s w/ the ‘hippy’ episodes. That’s what depictions of that music/art scene in the 80s in NYC are like for me. They’re just so wrong

    Except for that Star Trek episode. Where they go to the planet where nobody lives past 30! That one was amazing! W/ Michael J. Pollard who was a friend of the Beatles & was in Bonnie & Clyde! I LOVE him. That was the best ‘hippy’ episode…

    Sorry for the digression. That was a soul sucking scene in NY then. Much like that depicted in your avatar Nomad!

    1. i suspected it was not like depicted in the movie. thanks for the perspective.

  10. PS: I’m not sure if you meant did I ever meet Julian Schnabel. No. He was already a well known NYC painter in the 80s. Every single person I knew were just kids in there twenties (a few younger) & completely unknown then. And they got known later.

    But my best childhood girlfriend then who was w/ my brother’s bandmate told me she went to a party where he was at w/ Jean Michel. There was a group of Black bands that were neither Hip Hop nor post punk & they were friends w/ Jean Michel also. Through Jean Michel getting known some of my friends started meeting those more well known painters — but not me. Once she told me she’d been to a party that Prince gave the night before & that all those people were invited to. I very rarely spent time w/ any of those people. They were into dance clubs & they played this hybrid experimental dance music (some of which was really great & some I wasn’t crazy about). There were different scenes & they interfaced. I used to go once in awhile if I was on a guest list to hear those people. To be supportive. But I was into really different music than them. They used to make fun of some of the music I listened to! Like Bad Brains. (Black DC band). Or Killing Joke. (English band). There was a dance music scene & a Hip Hop scene & a post punk noise music scene & experimental electronica & experimental jazz & they all interfaced. But not a lot (depending on the person).

    And also I was married very early at 21 & then I was just going to school studying to be a goldsmith & cooking a lot throwing spontaneous dinner parties more than anything else.

    He’s a brilliant filmmaker though (aside from that film I didn’t like for the personal reasons I gave earlier & am not even sure if I saw all the way through). Bowie was brilliant in it as Warhol though! I was & am a Bowie fanatic… since the early 70s…

    This is getting funny that this has devolved into yet another film/arts thread. Honestly you need a section on the blog for this!

  11. GODLESS.

    That would be the one word to describe how I felt about that whole scene. And not just music but the art scene in downtown NYC then also. Since you asked about that.


    About a year (?) after Jean Michel died of a heroin overdose (which was depressing & there is so much more to say about that) a man downtown murdered his roommate cut her in pieces which he then boiled & put in a locker in Grand Central. But several people who were part of that downtown neighbourhood scene had witnessed the murdered body. One person — who told the papers she was a friend of his — had gone in and seen the headless torso in the tub. And the other was a neighbour who the murderer had pulled the skull out of a pot to show him.

    Neither of those people went to the police. So this rumour floated around for about a month (or months?) w/ a lot of people in that neighbourhood knowing about it until finally the rumour reached the police. And they went to this man & he confessed & brought them to the locker.

    Before his arrest & any of this having been reported this pale man w/ long blond hair & a Texas accent walked up to me whilst I was waiting for my girlfriend & another friend to pick me up to drive to the beach in CT.

    He was carrying a live chicken. Before he approached me & was about a block away it was like someone dropped a slide into my brain (photo slide) & the scene in front of me disappeared & all I saw was blood. It happened twice. Very quickly. He stood there & sort of fixed his gaze at me as if calculating something & then walked toward me.

    When he approached me he stood in front of me w/ some flyers about a rally in the park to burn the U.S. flag in protest. He was obviously schizophrenic. Angrily ranting about the U.S.Govt in a word salad way. I said something trying to be deflective. I think I said “Thanks for telling me about this but I am not a very political person.” (I said it to just say something as neutral as possible).

    The whole time he was in front of me it felt like a big magnetic force was pushing me away from him. Like when you try to push two magnets together & they repel each other & you can feel the resistance. The street was completely empty. Finally he left. Holding his live chicken.

    About a week or two later I was watching the local news (NYC news which went national anyway) & I see this man on the screen holding the chicken. Being arrested still holding his chicken. (Because it’s NY & NY is surreal. Like some natural law just makes everything that much weirder. Like in the film ‘Midnight Cowboy’… the acid party scene w/ members of Warhol’s factory…). And they described that he had killed his female roomate & how a lot of people downtown knew but nobody said anything.

    And thinking about it later I think that was an Angel or the Holy Spirit literally pushing me away from him & that that had been the force I felt pushing me away… And also the two quick visions of blood before he approached. Because by then he had already murdered her.

    I felt so bad for her mother who was a very elderly woman from Switzerland who had to fly over here to collect her daughter’s bones.

    And that’s when I moved to Brooklyn & started spending time in the Arab arts scene in NYC & became an advocate for Arab Americans & Palestinians & reconnected w/ our ancient indigenous Church. (Which I’d not left… but I’d not been in ages… Anyway think of you as ever having left as you are baptised…).

    That is just one example of how people romanticise that downtown scene.

    And wp were scared of rap then! Which was Uptown then. Far from this neighbourhood. The whole Hip Hop scene in NY was not anything like that. Not that it was some fairyland. There were fights (I knew someone from Spanish Harlem that would start them for fun every weekend. Once w/ LL Cool J! I worked w/ him. He came in Monday morning boasting about picking a fight w/ LL Cool J & I was thinking: ‘What is WRONG w/ you?!’).

    How are that many people so jaded that they hide a murder… simply because they don’t CARE.

    Since Basqiat was a miss. Great NYC films:

    Mean Streets
    Midnight Cowboy
    Dog Day Afternoon
    Taxi Driver

    The one about the runaway subway train w/ Jack Lemmon (?)… Title?

    Rosemary’s Baby

    1. wow. what a story

    2. The scene was dark. Like Bosch’s hell. Would you describe any of this as Satanic?

      I saw Taxi Driver. I actually saw it at the theater, which is rare for me. Startling and a little surreal. Never even heard of Mean Streets. Familiar with Midnight Cowboy thru excerpts. Generally havent seen the others. I saw Gangs of New York City. That was a great movie. Leonardo was impressive. I remember seeing Mulberry Street. Strange movie. Also when I was growing up I thought it was neat that Marvel comics superheroes lived in the real world. Mostly in New York and not some madeup city like Metropolis or Gotham. Most of Marvel’s movies still take place in New York. I often wonder where Superman is when the Avengers or the Xmen are trying to prevent some supervillian from destroying the world. For that matter, where are the Avengers when Spiderman is trying to stop a supervillain from destroying New York? Are they on vacation or something?

      1. ‘The Taking of Pelham One Two Three’

        That was the name of the NYC film about the subway train. I don’t want to give more away. It’s a classic. I want you to see that! 1974 version & NOT remake. I’m writing that here first — before answering what you wrote — so I don’t forget it! My mind is a sieve.

        Can you download films online via Netflix or order dvds through them? Do they still have that dvd service where they send things; or is it all online now?

        If your public library has dvds it’s a very super inexpensive way to watch them. Our library has them for free; another local town used to charge a few dollars for each rental. If they don’t have a dvd you can ask them to do a ‘Request for Purchase / RFP’. If they think it will be popular (enough people will watch it) they will usually buy it for the library.

        Please watch ‘Midnight Cowboy’ all the way through! Yelling “I’m walkin here” & hitting the top of the cab was ad libbed by Dustin Hoffman. (Who broke my heart by participating in an anniversary show for Israel on CBS in the 90s — which we in the ADC protested — that said the “a land without a people…” lie… So disappointing!). They were doing the scene & a taxi broke through. He’s from NY though — so it’s not an unusual thing to do. When you’re nearly hit by one of those killer cabs. (And the old ones were big tanks. Especially the old checkers then… which are gone now).

        Also please please please see ‘Mean Streets’! Scorcese early film. Prior to ‘Taxi Driver’.

        I don’t know if I’ve seen ‘Mulberry Street’. The actual street is near my second apartment I had downtown (& to the first one also… though across a wide street called Houston). Near where I came into contact w/ the murderer (described above). I’ll look it up. I can’t recall what it was about.

        Funny about those comics taking place in NYC! That’s because at least one of the very prolific writers/artists was from there. (NYC Ashkenazi — meaning Eastern & Central European — Jewish). I don’t know about others. Perhaps the publishing co. was there also. Even early b&w cartoons (film) began there.

        “Are they on vacation” Lol. 9/11 conspiracy > Marvel Comics NYC based superhero conspiracy theory! You know what time it is… Maybe Mossad & the CIA & MI6 & the KGB & Big Pharma & Facebook & Google & Amazon & the public school system are behind this. Especially since Amazon sells comics: I smell smoke!

        “Would you describe any of this as Satanic?”

        Yes. Only because as Orthodox (which is original Christian belief before all the spin-offs) we believe:

        God = LOVE & Logos (beauty in order vs. chaos in disorder etc.)

        Devil = disorder & division (antithesis of God/Love)

        Hence anything in the world which sows anger & hatred & division is from the Devil.

        Anger can be in line w/ love if one remains calm & peaceful & open & loving (not vengeful). But it is a sin to stay in anger because it causes division.

        As we want to merge w/ God when we pass (theosis > to become like God); we try to work on ourselves & not be devisive through focusing on our own faults (faults = sin. In Orthodoxy to sin means only to ‘miss the mark’ — there are no less or more severe sins like in Catholicism etc.).

        We do this by prayer & fasting (aside from the Bible; which is not only read but sung). We say the Jesus Prayer: ‘Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a sinner’ or shorter ‘Christ have mercy’ etc. Eventually it is meant to be a constant thought. (See ‘The Way of the Pilgrim’).

        Aside from focusing on oneself & thus not engaging in more blame & hence division; when one prays this over & over one’s narcissism (= sin of pride — called the father of all sins as it is nec. for the others) is less & one is emptied of division & one can know God. (Like meditation except we focus on Allah/God).

        So we believe the Devil is behind any division in the world. As Allah is love & in everything. So yes someone thinking of themselves & their own fear (if that is what really ocurred in this instance — as that is the excuse they are giving again) vs. being concerned in the spirit of God for a frightened woman in pajamas (or a man sitting in a drivers seat of a car w/ his girlfriend & her four year old daughter & not committing a crime/ or a boy playing in a park with a toy gun/ or a kid buying candy & ice tea & trying to walk home… etc…) is falling in w/ the Devil. Because Allah is Love (empathy kindness compassion understanding healing etc.) so everything else that is divisive of those things (fear anger pride narcissism hatred confusion self-righteousness chaos etc.) we believe is the Devil.

        The original way to believe/practise Christianity is very pure & simple & beautiful. It became dogmatic & false in the West. (Latin rite Catholicism & it’s many offshoots protesting it). We don’t believe in purgatory or a physical hell or levels of sin etc. MLK was very close to his local Orthodox bishop. (Greek Orthodox in that City). I forget his name. I have a great photo of him. Maybe I’ll post it here somewhere.

        So yes… The Nomad is completely right. He was NOT acting with God. He was in division from God. So acting with the Devil. (I believe).

      2. No. I mean self-consciously and deliberately Satanic. Like Manson or JimJones.

      3. I know what you mean now.

        First I/we believe it is the same. Not thinking right/not understanding leads to commiting evil acts intentionally as well. So we are talking about the same thing I think.

        But I take your more specific point.Wether he was acting w/ intentional evil. I don’t know. The whole thing is so weird. That’s why I wondered if it was revenge for Philando Castile. Like when the five police were shot in Dallas by a vigilante. But you pointed out that he was most likely pro-Cop vs. pro-Black. Also the African immigrant history of differentiating themselves from native Black AAs.

        It’s difficult for me to even discuss! It’s not fun to give wp racists ammo by discussing honour culture etc. So frustrating! As an Arab American we fight against those stereotypes all the time. But that does not mean there is never anyone acting on a template of honour & revenge. Look at what is happening in the Israeli State these last few days. It is a small percentage of Israelis & Palestinians obsessed w/ revenge but there are always those people. The trouble is racists apply it to everyone & never themselves.

        Wow. This case is so tangled.

      4. Here’s the Agatha Christie version:

        At end of book we know the real killer was the younger policeman who had only been on the force for a year & blackmailed the other cop into staying silent.

        And of course there would have been some elaborate backstory involving the victim to throw readers off track of what one learns — by the end of the book — really happened.

      5. PS: I meant to write: I have a great photo of MLK & his Greek Orthodox bishop friend together

      6. “The scene was dark. Like Bosch’s hell. Would you describe any of this as Satanic?”

        I made a mistake earlier when I answered this question of yours. It came into my inbox after some back & forth about the police shooting in the alley in MN. So I thought by the “scene was dark” you meant the shooting & that the alley was unlit etc. So that’s what I answered. (By just hitting ‘reply’ inside the email).

        But just now I was reading through the whole thread to get some perspective on this shooting story & I saw that you made that comment after I described that downtown murder & nobody going to the police. That “scene”.

        Btw that darkness I described about people not reporting the murder involved only wp as far as I know. It had been a mostly Latino & Ukrainian & mixed neighbourhood; but by that time it was starting to become gentrified. I lived one neighbourhood over — almost in Chinatown — & all but a few of the Black or Latino musicians or graffiti artists I knew were not living in that neighbourhood & I hadn’t known anyone who knew of that murder in that neighbourhood. It was basically creepy punk rock people who I did not know & nobody I knew knew either.

        Re. “satanic”. Even though I made a mistake about what you were asking; my answer which relates to my understanding of the devil is the same.

        The murderer was psychotic (obviously). I could hear that he was both schizophrenic — because he spoke in a word salad — & was very angry. (His father was a policeman in Texas btw). He was sent to that very high security mental institution for dangerous mentally ill people in MA (Creedmore?).

        I don’t think it was organised. (You mentioned “Jim Jones”). I think all those people had become evil though. They were obviously jaded. Other people would have run away screaming. Especially those who saw the body (& remains). One of those people said she remained “friends” w/ him. And the neighbour. But also those who saw him walking around & were not terrified & did not go to the police.

        But no I don’t think it was planned.

        Unlike the planned evil bullying of Absinthegone’s ‘Ten Little Indians’ Agatha Christie style mock murders. Where every week another person is pretend killed off in the library / garden / kitchen / attic / stables. Astrofem & solitude in the library w/ the candlestick. (That blog was like playing ‘Clue’).

        Look up ‘Ten Little Indians’/Agatha Christie on Wikipidia. Guess what? That was not the original title of the book. The original title had a lovely word that some English people like her were fond of then. Starts w/ the letter ‘n’…

  12. *Should have read: ‘Anyway they don’t think of you as ever having left as you are baptised.’

  13. Something very weird is showing up in the more recent articles. I don’t know if it is true. They say that when the police showed up they saw a person (her) moving around outside as if waiting for them for awhile & then run to the car quickly.

    That makes ZERO sense. Why would a woman — who was obviously alone at the time — call 911 to report a possible “sexual assault” she thought she heard OUTSIDE; only to then wait in pajamas OUTSIDE for the police to arrive.

    Obviously she would be far too terrified to wait outside alone.

    Either both of these cops are lying & covering for each other. Or she is completely mad. (And nobody who knew her reported that she was unstable in any way).

    That sounds to me like something men might make up; without noticing how completely illogical it is. Because they don’t get how women constantly have to move around the world protecting themselves (where to walk / where to stand / making sure the keys are out / Locking windows etc.).

    Other things emerging:

    In the last days all the writer/sites who loathe black people/poc/muslims are saying that the officer was an ‘affirmative action’ hire that was not qualified.

    His fellow police are reported to have abandoned him.

    Her lawyer spoke about her as the first true innocent victim.

    (Sorry if some of this was in the above article. Honestly I can’t remember exactly how much it covered when I read it yesterday).

    1. it does seem a truly reckless act if it happened as reported. it defies all sense of what one would think police training would cover. is it so easy to draw ones gun from a seated position? is he that quick that he could do this before recognizing the woman was not a threat? quick draw mcgraw shoots first and asks questions later. is this what he was trained to do? across the face of his partner in the squad car?

      1. “draw ones gun from a seated position”

        Very good point. I hadn’t thought of that. Especially if he is supposed to be incompetant; as the anti-Muslim people think who are now blaming it on being a diversity hire. Is that even technically possible?

        Why isn’t the mysterious bicyclist coming forward. The one witness. More importantly: there doesn’t seem to be a big effort to get him to come forward. Or any effort? Or he saw something else & is afraid to speak.

        It also seems really weird that there were no other neighbours who were witnesses; at least afterward. After hearing a gunshot. What hour was this? Were they sleeping? It probably was not that late since her fiance was not home. (Unless he works nights/was away for some reason like work).

        I really hope her parents hire a private investigator & had a private autopsy done.

        It was described like when they were driving up for a while they saw her pacing around waiting for them before they pulled up. Whilst a possible sexual predator was outside? How is this believable. I hope her lawyer is noticing how weird that is. Why is nobody mentioning that. Most people would be waiting inside w/ the doors & windows locked. Or if someone was in the house: run to a neighbour.

        Maybe the cop who is not speaking (not even to a lawyer?) was told by the other cop to keep silent; if they are covering up some altercation and/or assault of her.

        This story has a lot of holes in it. Holes that the authorities & lawyers don’t seem very concerned with.

  14. Also they were driving w/ their lights off (according to the partner who was driving). This is part of the excuse for not knowing who she was (?).

    But then other articles say she was “talking to” the partner who was in the driver seat. Why two separate stories? Sloppy press reporting; or contradictory statements from cop who is talking?

    Why would they be driving w/ no lights?

    They are LYING. Covering for each other. Probably cop assault occurred? Body cams off AND driving w/ no lights AND woman who rang about hearing sex assault outside waiting OUTSIDE. They are covering up some other evil. Assaulted her? Maybe partner did it & that’s why the other is not talking.

    Did they do forensics on BOTH their guns. (To see if fired).What about bullet trajectory. Evidence on the scene.

    Bicyclist witness has been located now & spoken to authorities. And phone number put out w/ request for any other witnesses to contact them. (So my above question about that is answered).

  15. NY Daily News 22 July article says witness on bicycle filmed part of incident

    (Sorry I don’t know how to link it. If you search: bicycle witness w/ her name & NY Daily News & July 22, 2017 it should come up)

    1. this timeline makes no sense

  16. You’re right! It is DM though — so not surprising. (Sort of a British supermarket rag — no? I don’t think their reporters have journalism degrees from Cambridge).

    Re. the diagram. I think (?) they meant when she called them before “11:30” that that would be the same time the police received the call about a woman screaming at “11:28”.

    Was that what you thought was confusing? Because that’s what I thought didn’t make sense in it. Beside the entire thing!

    I wonder what the bike rider got on film…

    I hope something. But I don’t trust the police. Talk about fox > henhouse! O_O

    Is that an “alley”? Lol. I want to take them to see some actual alleys. (In NYC). An “alley” can be that wide? In NYC they’ve put buildings in smaller spaces. There’s a great very tiny one in Berlin also. An “alley”. It looks like a wide driveway… behind some modern prefab film set looking houses… Like the Twilight Zone episode where the couple wakes up & everything looks similar but nothing works; until they knock over a tree & find out they live in a toy train town of some out of sight laughing child…

    Have you noticed how close these houses are Nomad? How is it there are no neighbours coming forth & saying they heard screams.

    The only people that seem to be buying this in America are wp. Still trusting the police I mean. (Not the same for wp in Australia & England/British Isles). It’s like bp are looking after her more than wp. For ex. the man at the mayor’s press conference asking for her resignation was black no? (I don’t have a tv — but that’s what I got from photos. I may be wrong obviously because in a photo I couldn’t hear who was saying that to her. But he was the only one in the photo).

    Another Agatha Christie book type ending:

    The 911 call was actually from a neighbour saying they thought they heard a ‘sexual assault’. The screams were actually from the woman shot by the police. The disparity came from collusion between the 911 Emergency Dept. & the Police (both city agencies); who agreed to lie to cover up the truth.

    1. Doesnt make sense. I thought she just popped out of her house into the alley. Diagram looks like she walked about half a block before being shot. Wasnt she scared about the assault she heard? Why would she be outside at all, much less walking down a dark alley where she just heard someone being assaulted?

      1. EXACTLY! That’s what I’ve been saying! It’s got to be a LIE. Or she is unlike almost any other female on the planet.

        He had two complaints about him and another one in the courts now. The one in the courts — to the best of my recollection (?) — is for arresting a woman who had done nothing wrong after she rang the police (? Please check this again to be sure. I may be mistaken about those last details).

        So perhaps she waited inside & she was arguing w/ him/them about something (such as them not being interested in looking for the possible assault victim after they said nobody was out there?) & she was dragged outside? Then shot during an attempt to arrest her. (I want to know more about the other court case he is involved in/charges against him).

        Something is not right. Where are the investigative journalists on this? Why isn’t this being brought up by people? Sexual assault advocates/experts for example. This dross is obvious!

      2. Or she is unlike almost any other female on the planet.

        right. what female is going to leave her house and walk down an alley in her pajamas where shes just heard what she thought was a sexual assault? makes no sense whatsoever.

      3. This spins back to my earlier comment to you.

        He came here at age two. He was raised by immigrant Somalian parents perhaps or most likely in the large Somalian fairly recent Somalian immigrant community there. You & I were discussing how African and/or Arab & Asian immigrant parents don’t want their kids to be exposed to elements of U.S. & Euro culture they don’t like. Which translates to African immigrants not often associating w/ native AAs.

        That’s why I wrote earlier that perhaps he did not get the ‘indoctrination into U.S society’ memo. (Via TV fiction/ TV news/ film/ internet/ overheard conversation/ rumour/ etc.). The one that is supposed to educate people that pale women of Euro extraction are not supposed to be suspected/ beaten/ arrested/ shot/ shot to death by police.

        Just my impression from walking the razors edge of two worlds as a one shade ‘darker than a paper bag’ almond-shape eyed “wild-haired” (to quote town employee who said she was afraid of me because of my “wild looking hair” LOL) Bedouin looking girl. I’m looking through a few windows here. Just my perspective as a perpetual foreigner (whose grandfather came in 1910s & his elder brothers 1890s!).

        I have a new one of those abbreviations: MMM. Stands for: Makes me mad.

  17. There is ZERO about this story that makes sense.

    Why are no wp in the States saying that? There are only neutral reports from the press & Pamela Geller out on a ledge about him being “Muslim” (I didn’t read the article — only the title) & the usual Red White & (haven’t a) Clue wp sites saying he was fast tracked as a “diversity hire”.

    Which may be true as I don’t know the normal training time — but they have an agenda. So even when they get technical facts straight it makes me disinclined to listen to them.

    So far it seems like only bp are actually angry at the police for this. Even her family seem like they trust the system (?). Am I misreading that? What is your impression?

    1. havent really followed this closely. wouldnt be surprised. wp trust cops. bp, not so much.

  18. There was a ‘Justice for Justine Rally’ which Philando Castile’s mom attended also. There’s a photo of her w/ the fiance.

    I was referring to the press I am reading & websites — not the rally earlier.

  19. I just read the 911 transcript (in USA Today article).

    She said she heard people having sex — but thought she heard the female say “help”. But she wasn’t sure.

    Where are those people?

    a) They are teenagers who don’t want their parents to know they are sexually active

    b) It was an assault & that woman does not want to come forward either

    But where were they when the police arrived & saw her waiting outside? If they were gone by then — why was she anxiously waiting outside as if anxious for the police to intervene?

    Why does so much of this not make any sense.

    BLM & NAACP were both at the rally for her.

  20. Weird that this cross roads for b&w people in America comes at 50 yr anniversary of the Detroit uprising & all the other 67 uprisings/events. And just ahead anniversary of 1968.

    1. as i always say, hysteria repeats itself.

      1. “hysteria repeats itself”

        Lol. This time it’s staged like a ‘Fifty Year Class Reunion for The United States of America’.

        Not that there hasn’t been anything between 67/68 & now; but in 67/68 & recently w/ videoed cop shootings etc. things have reached another sort of visual crescendo.

        In the early & mid-60s it was about most people having a TV by then; so they were watching people get firehosed & battoned & assassinated in their living rooms by then.

        I think we can safely say that the technology making smartphones available — even to those of us w/ little funds — is similar to TVs bringing racism (& the Vietnam war) into people’s homes in the 60s. People who did not live in red-lined neighbourhoods that is… or live in Vietnam.

  21. Why just you & I on this thread. Not that I don’t appreciate your hosting & company. I’m simply wondering…

    Because BIG topic…

    1. guess theyre not interested

      1. “…not interested”

        How could that be! O_O

        Maybe they’re over there w/ Captain Kirk (Absinthegone) & Uhuru (Astrofem) & Spock (Solitude) & the Doctor…

        All except Resw… who is busy flying round the world to different IP addresses. (Love you Resw!)…

        Back to serious: Word is the most famous Somali in America now has been abandoned by his fellow Men & Women in Blue. Muslim AND black. Should we be surprised. They’ve stood by other crazy trigger happy cops — so why not this one.

      2. lol. i mean not interested in this blog. doesnt matter. aisle c continues.

      3. *Over at the Starship Enterprise blog I meant/mean vs. over here w/ The Nomad – Destroyer of Worlds (Words)

    2. Word is the most famous Somali in America now has been abandoned by his fellow Men & Women in Blue.

      skin color and white women trumps everything. from emmit till to oj simpson. its a wonder they havent lynched him.

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