Justine Damond’s father John Ruszczyk choked back tears at the service, which was held at the time the family had planned to be on a plane to attend her wedding, and vowed to get justice for the 40-year-old daughter who had been “ripped from our arms”.
During a visit to Minneapolis, where Ms Damond was shot, Mr Ruszczyk said: “We should be walking down the street smiling and laughing, But now every step on the foot path is very painful. I feel crushed by sorrow.”
The memorial service was attended by hundreds of people, many wearing heart-shaped stickers and an Australian flag was displayed on the stage next to Ms Damond’s picture.
Her fiance, Don Damond, said it “felt like a privilege to love Justine”.
The couple were due to get married next week in Hawaii and Mr Damon said it was a painful irony that the service held at a lakefront stage near her home in southwest Minneapolis coincided with the family’s original travel plans.
He said: “I have immense gratitude for being the one she chose. In Australia, they call it ‘you’re punching above your weight’. I really had to step up to be at her level.”
Her family set up the Justine Damond Social Justice Fund to support causes important to her, including those promoting equal treatment for all.