Minneapolis Internal Affairs wants answers
The Police Department’s internal affairs unit can compel Mohamed Noor to talk about the shooting death of the unarmed Australia bride-to-be, and fire him if he refuses.
The ineffectual state investigation unit — the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension — says it cannot make the cop talk. That’s when internal affairs stepped in.
Many people close to the incident say that Noor isn’t talking because he’s still trying to concoct a believable excuse for shooting Justine Damond in cold blood.
The shooting “shouldn’t have happened,” said Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, and was the result of the actions and bad judgment of one officer.
“Justine didn’t have to die.”
Noor opened fire on the 40-year-old woman through the window of his patrol car last Saturday night after she approached the vehicle in her pajamas to report a possible assault nearby. Noor’s partner, Matthew Harrity, told state investigators that Noor had been startled by a loud noise just before the shooting.
None of the neighbors interviewed heard any loud noises at that time.
In other interviews, a neighbor of Mohamed Noor, who is a Muslim from Somali, described the cop as a “strict and ill-tempered” individual who has “little respect for women and blacks.”
Damond family hires attorney from Philando Castile shooting
Minneapolis attorney Bob Bennett, who helped Castile’s family reach a $3 million settlement, will represent the Damond family.
The family in Australia is still in disbelief, Bennett said.
“Justine obviously was not armed, she was not a threat to anyone, nor could she have reasonably been perceived to be,” he told WCCO-TV.
Bennett dismissed the suggestion from an attorney for Noor’s partner that the two officers feared an ambush. “I think that is ludicrous, that is disinformation,” Bennett said. “It doesn’t have any basis in fact.”
Cop shot Philando Castile 7 times
Philando Castile, 32, was shot to death by a police officer who pulled him over for a broken taillight on July 6, 2016, in the nearby suburb of St. Anthony. Castile’s girlfriend and her young daughter were also in the car.
Castile informed the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, he had a legally permitted handgun with him in the car. The cop told him not to reach for it. Castile said he wouldn’t, but it made no difference. Yanez shot him seven times.
The county attorney said he believes Castile never removed or tried to remove his handgun from his pocket.
Yanez pleaded not guilty to manslaughter but the charge was dismissed at trial.
The shooting drew worldwide attention when Castile’s girlfriend, Lavish Reynolds, narrated an extraordinary video account of the incident while still inside the car next to her dying boyfriend.
“You shot four bullets into him, sir,” the girlfriend said as she live-streamed Castile’s death,
Record number of police shootings
Minnesota cops shot and killed 13 people in 2016, the most since the state began keeping records 38 years ago. Since 1995, cops have killed at least 151 people — almost seven per year. More than half of those fatalities — 81 — are in the last eight years. Graph shows statistics up to Nov. 22, 2016.