Cop Who Shot Justine Damond Identified; Many Questions About her Death Remain

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Earlier today, we reported that Justine Damond, an Australian woman, was shot by a police officer in Minneapolis after she called 911 to report hearing a possible assault in the alley behind her home.

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 said.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension confirmed that there is no body camera footage because neither officer had their camera switched on. As of now, it is being reported that there isn’t any dashcam footage of the incident either. And, no weapons were found at the scene.

Both officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave.

The name of the cop who shot Damond has been released, reports the Star Tribune:

The Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed a 40-year-old woman in the alley behind her home Saturday night has been identified as Officer Mohamed Noor. Meanwhile, state investigators have confirmed that they did not find any weapons at the scene.

Noor, the first Somali police officer to patrol the 5th Precinct in southwest Minneapolis, joined the department in March 2015.

But this is not the first time in his brief stint as a cop that he’s been in trouble. He is 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, reports Heavy.

Graham’s case shares an eerie detail in common with Demond’s: She had also called police to report a disturbance.

She alleged that she had called 911 “to report an unknown young male who was sitting on her retaining wall behind her house, smoking marijuana and appeared to be under the influence of drugs.” She did not receive communication or a visit from police, she said, so she assumed they “did not do anything in response to her call.”

The Star Tribune also mentions the pending complaint:

Noor has been sued once in his short career with the police department, stemming from a May 25, 2017 incident, in which he and two other officers came to a woman’s home and took her to the hospital, which the woman alleges constituted false imprisonment, assault and battery. According to the recently filed and ongoing lawsuit, the officers claimed they had reason to believe the woman was suffering a mental health crisis — which she denied — and Noor “grabbed her right wrist and upper arm,” exacerbating a previous shoulder injury in the process.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, there have been 10 officer-involved shootings in 2017 so far in Minnesota. Those shootings include both fatal and non-fatal incidents. The BCA has investigated nine of those 10 incidents.

Minnesota has had its share of notable police brutality incidents. One particularly tragic case is that of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by former MN cop Jeronimo Yanez last year (Yanez was recently fired and given a payout of nearly $50k, but was not charged with killing Castile – a fact that baffles many). Earlier this month, a cop in Minneapolis shot a woman’s physician-prescribed emotional support dogs in her backyard. The cop claims the dogs were charging him, but the homeowner’s surveillance camera footage proves they were not charging and were not a threat. Thankfully, the animals survived, but they suffered serious injuries, not to mention the emotional trauma of being shot in their own backyard.

What is going on in Minnesota?

So many questions remain: Why did Noor shoot Damond? Why were the officers’ body cameras turned off? Why isn’t there dashcam footage of the incident? Who is the cop who was driving the squad car that night, and what does he/she have to say about this?

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