On 22 July 2017, the Facebook page “Prepare to Take America Back” shared a meme that informed its fans that CNN and other major news media outlets “buried” the story of Justine Ruszczyk (who went by her fiance’s surname Damond), a white Australian woman who was shot and killed on 15 July 2017 by a Somali-American Minneapolis police officer:
Damond, 40, died after calling 911 at about 11:30 P.M. to report what she believed to be a sexual assault happening in an alley near her home. Minneapolis police officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor responded to the call. According to a preliminary investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Harrity reported being startled by a loud noise as Damond approached the squad car. Noor opened fire through Harrity’s open window, striking her in the abdomen and killing her. A search warrant obtained by Minnesota Public Radio revealed that a female had “slapped” the back of the squad car before Damond was killed, but it is unclear if she was the one who touched the vehicle.
CNN and other American news outlets have been under fire from President Donald Trump and his supporters, many of whom have appropriated the term “fake news” to essentially mean organizations and stories that report narratives that they dislike.
However it is easy to disprove the claim that the news media has buried the Damond story in an effort to suppress the fact that the police officer who shot her was an immigrant from Somalia. For example, a very simple Internet search reveals that CNN has in fact been following the story very closely. They have also pointed out that Noor is the Minneapolis Police Department’s first officer of Somali descent, reporting on 18 July 2017:
Mohamed Noor, the on-duty Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an Australian-born woman on Saturday night, had been with the force for two years and was his precinct’s first Somali-American officer.
The case has received widespread attention from media all over the world, not just CNN. It has been covered meticulously by local media, but has also been followed closely by national and international media, including the Star Tribune, the Washington Post, CBS, NBC, Fox News, the Daily Beast, USA Today, Australian media, and more.
Minnesota is notable for its sizable Somali minority community — a community that was singled out by Donald Trump on the campaign trail in November 2016, saying members of the community were “joining ISIS.”