On Saturday night, Minneapolis police responded to a call from a woman–Justine Damond– who reported “strange” noises (some reports say a possible assault) near her home. Police showed up, and one of the officers shot the unarmed woman, who was at the driver’s side door talking to the other officer.
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. No weapon was found at the scene.
Oddly enough, the officers’ body cams were turned off at the time. As far as we know, there’s no dashcam footage of the shooting either.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is currently investigating the incident.
“The BCA’s investigation is in its early stages. More information will be available once initial interviews with incident participants and any witnesses are complete. … The officers’ body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident. Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists,” BCA stated.
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is appalled by this incident.
“I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by the fatal officer-involved shooting that happened last night,” Hodges said.
“We have few facts at this point,” she continued. “I want to know more. I call on the BCA to share as much information with all of us as quickly as they can.”
Speaking of new information, there’s this: The officer who shot her has been identified as Mohamed Noor.
Noor, 31, joined the department in March 2015 as the first Somali police officer to patrol the 5th Precinct in southwest Minneapolis, according to a city newsletter. He holds a degree in Economics and Business Administration from Augsburg College. Before joining the department, he worked in property management in commercial and residential properties in Minneapolis and St. Louis, Mo.
Chief Janeé Harteau issued a statement Monday afternoon saying she would request a speedy investigation into the shooting, which she called “tragic.”
“I have many of the same questions and it is why we immediately asked for an external and independent investigation into the officer-involved shooting death,” said Harteau, who is out of the country on vacation but is receiving regular briefings, according to a police spokesperson. “I also want to assure you that I understand why so many people have so many questions at this point. I’ve asked for the investigation to be expedited to provide transparency and to answer as many questions as quickly as we can.”
This wasn’t Noor’s first career-related incident, either.
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.
I still have questions. Lots of questions. Why were their body cams off AND their dashcam not working? That’s suspicious. Why did Noor shoot an unarmed woman in her pajamas? Did he seriously feel “threatened”? It just doesn’t make sense.
“Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,” her son Zach Damond said, according to the Star Tribune. “I demand answers. If anybody can help, just call police and demand answers. I’m so done with all this violence.”
Like all police-related incidents with very little information, I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I WILL say that so far, this sounds completely bizarre and looks really, really bad. At this point, it sounds like this woman lost her life for no reason whatsoever.
Someone has some serious explaining to do. Lots of it.
#JustineDamond is trending right now, and rightly so. However, many of these people are using this story to make blanket statements like, “they [cops] are executing people.” This isn’t a defense of those officers WHATSOEVER. My point is, it’s wrong to demonize all cops right now. That’s not the answer. Most cops are great, courageous people who put their lives on the line every single day. Take NYPD Officer Miosotis Familia, for instance.
I hate to even go here, but I have to. Every since the officer’s name came out, the left has simmered down, but others have even MORE questions and are floating some controversial theories.
— kik me (@KIKGAB17) July 17, 2017
— swagbuckspays (@swagbuckspays) July 17, 2017
He executed that woman for approaching him in her nightgown. He couldn’t handle her immodesty #MohamedNoor
— B.J. Wineglass (@TheGimp420) July 17, 2017
Terror attack — not BLM crap. #MohamedNoor
— Robin B. (@tenaciousrb) July 17, 2017
— The Daily Westerner (@DailyWestNews) July 17, 2017
Come on people– can we please just wait for all of the facts to come out? This isn’t helping.