However, the former Minneapolis affirmative action police officer hire, Mohamed Noor, has been found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Star Tribune (h/t Karen P) Noor, the first Somali Muslim ever hired by this police department, is the first Minnesota police officer in recent memory to be convicted of murder and manslaughter in connection with an on-duty shooting of a totally innocent woman who had called police for help. He faces between 10-15 years in prison for the third-degree murder charge and 3 1/2 to nearly 5 years for the manslaughter charge. (He’ll probably be out in 3 years, if not sooner)
A jury of two women and 10 men began deliberations Monday after hearing three weeks of testimony and announced the verdict Tuesday afternoon after about 11 hours of deliberation.
Noor, 33, was charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the July 15, 2017 killing of Damond. While Damond was standing outside the police car and talking to Noor’s partner in the driver’s seat, Noor decided to fire his gun from the passenger seat through Harrity’s open driver’s side window, which killed Damond instantly.
The victim, a yoga instructor, had approached the cruiser after calling 911 twice to report a possible rape in the dark alley behind her home.
In court, prosecutor Amy Sweasy said Noor violated Minneapolis police training policies – and endangered the life of his partner and a teenage cyclist also present. She dismissed speculation that Damond contributed to her own death. ‘He pulled (the gun). He pointed, he aimed, and he killed her,’ Ms. Sweasy said. ‘This is no accident. This is intentional murder,’ she said.
Noor previously testified that he believed there was an imminent threat after he saw a cyclist stop near the police cruiser, heard a loud bang and saw Harrity’s ‘reaction to the person on the driver’s side raising her right arm.’ Noor added that when he reached from the cruiser’s passenger seat and shot Damond through the driver’s side window, it was because he thought his partner ‘would have been killed.’
He said that after Damond approached the cruiser, his partner screamed ‘Oh, Jesus!’ and began fumbling to unholster his gun. Then, Noor said he saw a blonde woman wearing a pink T-shirt raising her right arm at the driver’s window, identified her as a threat and fired.
The prosecutor, however, suggested that the officers should not have been surprised by a woman walking to their car, given that the 911 caller reporting the possible sexual assault was a woman.
Prosecutors argued that Noor acted unreasonably when he fired, and was too quick to assume that Damond was a threat. Noor and Harrity should have considered whether Damond was the 911 caller, the subject of Damond’s 911 call or a woman from a previous 911 call placed earlier in the night by a neighbor, prosecutors have said.
Noor, 33, is a Somali Muslim whose hiring two years before the shooting was celebrated by Minneapolis leaders as a sign of a diversifying police force in a city with a large population of Somali Muslim immigrants.
More about this case HERE
Since Justine was a native Australian, let’s see how Australian media are reporting on this: