Ruszczyk fiance: Cop looked 'sociopathic'

Don Damond (R) lost his fiancee Justine Ruszczyk when she was shot by a Minneapolis police officer.
Don Damond (R) lost his fiancee Justine Ruszczyk when she was shot by a Minneapolis police officer.

Fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had the relaxed look of "a sociopathic killer" drinking beer with mates as he pinned a dying George Floyd on the neck with a knee, the US fiance of murdered Australian life coach Justine Ruszczyk said.

Don Damond studied Chauvin's face during the horrific arrest video that showed Mr Floyd struggling to breathe before his death.

"It's like a sociopathic killer," Mr Damond told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"There's no remorse, no guilt, no anger.

"There's nothing.

"It's like he could be sitting there drinking a beer with his buddies.

"The look on his face was, 'I'm just going to snuff this guy and not even bat an eye'."

A year ago Mr Damond and Ms Ruszczyk's Australian family endured their own horror.

They sat front row in a downtown Minneapolis courtroom as another disgraced officer, Mohamed Noor, was tried and found guilty of Ms Ruszczyk's murder.

Ms Ruszczyk called 911 in 2017 after hearing a woman's screams behind her home.

When she approached Noor's vehicle he thought he was being ambushed and shot her dead.

Noor is serving a 12.5-year prison sentence after he was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Chauvin was initially charged with the same counts, but after worldwide protests the murder charge was elevated to second-degree last week.

Three other Minneapolis police officers involved in the arrest were charged with aiding and abetting.

"I just find myself crying, and I haven't cried in a while," said Mr Damond, describing the impact Mr Floyd's death has had on him.

Mr Floyd's family, Mr Damond and the Sydney-based Ruszczyks are the latest members of a growing list of families in the Minneapolis-St Paul twin cities devastated by fatal police arrests.

Mr Damond plans to reach out to the Floyds.

He recalls how Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2016, told him: "It's going to be a long haul, honey."

Mr Damond expects the police officers' defence lawyers to "try and tear down" Mr Floyd's reputation to sow seeds of doubt just as they tried with his fiancee.

Ms Ruszczyk, a white Australian woman shot by a black Minneapolis police officer, has been left out of some of the community debate following Mr Floyd's death.

Mr Damond visited the memorial outside the Minneapolis store where Mr Floyd died and noticed a mural listing names of people killed by police.

It do not include Ms Ruszczyk.

He understands.

"I've suffered the same loss - the same loss, at the hands of the same police department - tragic, reckless use of force," Mr Damond said.

"I get it.

"It is so complicated, and I get it."

Australian Associated Press