“The investigation into the shooting death of Justine Damond was being conducted by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) before the case was submitted to the Hennepin County Attorney’s office for possible criminal charges against Mohamed Noor, the Minneapolis police officer who fired the fatal shot.
Noor, 32, has refused to answer investigators’ questions over what caused him to fire his weapon at Damond, reportedly citing the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.”1
He’s not alone though, several of the officers are now seeking legal counsel before agreeing to an interview. But, they didn’t shoot anyone. Noor did. What does he have to hide?
As you’ll remember, that evening Damond heard a noise outside her home and called the police. It was Noor and his partner Matthew Harrity that responded to her call about a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her house.
After they arrived, Damond moved to the squad car next to Harrity, who was in the driver’s seat. Next thing we know, Noor, who was in the passenger seat, fired his weapon (there are conflicting reports on just how many times Damond was shot). Although the officers attempted CPR, Damond died 20 minutes later.
Oh, and both officers had their body cameras switched off.
Despite the very real public anger following Damond’s death, according to Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Jennifer Bjorhus, criminal prosecutions of officers in the state are rare:
“[From] a database of all of the deaths in our state since 2000… we found that, excluding police car chases, police had killed 162 people. Most of these people were shot. As far as we know, in recent history, no officer in our state has ever been criminally prosecuted for shooting and killing someone in the line of duty.”2
John Ruszczyk, Justine’s father, said that her family still hasn’t heard whether or not the Minnesota state prosecutor will pursue legal action against Officer Noor. If they don’t, a civil case will be brought. He said, “Somebody took my daughter’s life for no reason and I think that’s a crime, and I’d like to see him in court. If [the State prosecutor] decides not to charge him, then the civil case that we want to bring will start earlier.” 3