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Racist Memorial Removed From Police Station

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A candlelit memorial placed outside police headquarters by a white nationalist group has been removed after police learned of its provocative nature.

According to the Daily Mail, Identity Evropa, a hate group based in Northern California, created the memorial to honor Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who was killed by a black police officer in Minneapolis in July. Damond was white.

On Dec. 22, the group posted a message on Twitter noting the absence of charges against "her Somali-born killer," as reported by Daily Mail.

When the department learned of the shrine, the racial motivation behind it, and its location outside precinct headquarters, Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said it was immediately taken down.

Damond was shot in an incident that garnered national attention in July when Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American Minneapolis police officer, shot her after possibly being startled when she rapped on the back of his patrol car when approaching the vehicle from behind.

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Noor has not been charged with a crime.

The incident occurred when Damond called police to report a possible sexual assault behind the home she shared with her fiance, according to the Star Tribune. When Officers Matthew Harrity and Noor arrived, Damond came to the vehicle and Noor reached across Harrity and fired one shot, according to Daily Mail. Damond died at the scene.

Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman has said he lacks sufficient evidence to bring charges against Noor. He has also expressed frustration at Noor's refusal to speak with investigators, and that frustration was readily apparent in a December interview.

According to the Daily Mail, Freeman believes investigators "haven't done their job" so far in finding out the facts of the case.

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"I have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, [that] the moment he shot the gun, he feared for his life," said Freeman. "But I can't. He won't answer my questions because he doesn't have to."

Identity Evropa helped organize participants in the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally in August, seized on the tragedy and erected the memorial, which included a framed portrait, 12 lit candles, nearly two dozen red roses, and signs reading, "United We Stand," and "Identity Evropa," according to the Star Tribune.

Identity Evropa has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Minneapolis mayor-elect Jacob Frey condemned the shrine, calling it "disgusting."

"Identity Evropa and those who share their values have no place in our city. Hate has no place in Minneapolis. Period."

Sources: Daily Mail, Star Tribune / Featured Image: PxHere / Embedded Images: Tony Webster/Flickr, Anthony Crider/Flickr

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