MOHAMED NOOR (below), the Minneapolis police officer who is accused of shooting and killing Justine Damond, an Australian yoga teacher and spiritual healer, was the first Somali Muslim officer in his precinct.
HEAVY A year ago, the arrival of Noor on the Minnesota police force was celebrated by the mayor and Somali Muslim community he hails from.
Damond, who also went by her maiden name Justine Ruszczyk, was shot and killed while wearing her pajamas and speaking to another police officer, identified as Matthew Harrity, after calling 911 to report a possible assault in an alley behind her home on July 15, reports The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The shooting death has caused outrage in both Australia and Minnesota, where Damond was a beloved teacher of meditation who held betterment workshops and was supposed to be married in August.
Mohamed Noor shot Justine Damond (below) through the door of his police cruiser.
Authorities have been very vague and tight-lipped on the shooting, saying that it’s under investigation.
However, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune newspaper has reported, through three sources, that Damond, 40, was in her pajamas when shot and was speaking to Noor’s partner at the time through the window of a police car in which Noor was allegedly a passenger.
“Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources confirmed. No weapon was found at the scene,” the Star Tribune reported.
Noor’s partner was allegedly “stunned” when Noor opened fire.
The Mayor and Somali Muslim community celebrated Noor’s arrival on the force, where he became the first Somali Muslim officer in his precinct.
Mayor Betsy Hodges, in 2016, wrote a lengthy Facebook post that praised the hiring of Noor. A city newsletter said Noor was hired in March 2015 and “is Fifth Precinct’s first Somali-American Officer.” A welcoming event in his honor “was well attended with hundreds of people showing up to meet, congratulate, and welcome him to the precinct,” the newsletter said.
“Officer Noor has been assigned to the 5th Precinct, where his arrival has been highly celebrated, particularly by the Somali community in and around Karmel Mall. The community even hosted a meet and greet event (see pics) to welcome him,” Hodges wrote. “A wonderful sign of building trust and community policing at work. Welcome Officer Noor and all of the new officers in their new precinct assignments across the City.”
Engaged to be married in August, with a fiancee and soon-to-be stepson (below), Damond had her whole life ahead of her. She had moved to America, friends back in Sydney said, to follow her heart.
She was engaged to Don Damond, who works as a vice president and general manager for a Minnesota casino. Back in Australia, Damond was the daughter of a prominent bookstore owner.
In America, she held seminars on yoga and meditation at a local consciousness center. That center wrote on Facebook, “We are so sad to report the tragic shooting of Justine Damond. Justine was one of the most loving people you would ever meet. We can’t even imagine LHSC with out her.”
Noor already was the subject of a pending Federal Complaint.
The open federal case in the United States District Court, District of Minnesota was filed against Noor, two other police officers, and the City of Minneapolis, by a woman named Teresa M. Graham.
Federal court documents say the complaint is an action for money damages arising out of a May 25, 2017. The complaint accuses Noor and the other officers “without any reasonable or legal cause” of forcing “their way into Plaintiff’s house,” where they’re accused of having “violently and forcibly detained her, and transported her to a hospital against her will.” She’s alleging violations of constitutional rights.