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Vigils, memorials mark one year since the death of Justine Damond

A park bench was dedicated in her honor at Minnehaha Creek.

Friends and family held vigils in Minneapolis on Saturday to honor the life of Justine Damond, the 40-year-old woman shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer on July 15, 2017. 

Hundreds of people gathered at Minnehaha Park in south Minneapolis to dedicate a bench to Damond, and Mayor Jacob Frey was among those throwing pink flowers into Minnehaha Creek in her memory. 

The bench is located where Justine and fiance Don Damond first dedicated their love to one another. 

Justine Damond bench

Closer to Damond's home, the intersection of 51st Street and Washburn Avenue was closed to traffic for the day so family, friends, and anyone who wanted to pay respects could do so with flowers, photos and chalk messages on the streets and sidewalks. 

In Australia, Damond's father, John Ruszczyk led a sunrise gathering at Sydney Beach on Sunday to remember his daughter. 

"When we got here, we experienced this beautiful sunrise, and Justine, because of her senseless killing, will never see the sunrise or hear the kookaburra again," Ruszczyk said, according to The Guardian. "Our communities here at Freshwater and in Minneapolis are waiting for judgment."

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohammad Noor was charged in March with charged by prosecutors in March with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Noor is accused of shooting Damond in the alley behind her house after she had called 911 to report hearing a woman screaming. 

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