The once-heralded Minneapolis, MN, police officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced to 12-plus years for shooting and killing the woman who had moments before called 911 to report a possible rape in the alley behind her house. Noor, a black Muslim Somali , shot Justine Damond, claiming the unarmed, pink-T-shirt-wearing, petite blonde caused him to “feel fear.”
Noor, 33, was convicted in April of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter – a rare occurrence in itself — with prison time an even more scarce judgment. Research conducted by criminologist Philip Stinson shows officer-involved shootings happen about 900 times per year, and since 2005 only three murder convictions have stuck; Noor is No. 4 on the short list.
After Noor’s conviction Stinson told NBC News, “But today, an officer gets on the stand and says, ‘I feared for my life,’ and that’s usually all …. No conviction, more often than that, no charges at all.”
Of course, grabbing an opportunity to exploit Noor’s sentence, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is crying racist. But a deeper dive tells a different tale.
Identity Politics in Law Enforcement? You Bet.
John Dempsey, a contributor to Liberty Nation, uncovered the troubling precursor to Damond’s murder. The Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) was touted as progressive for hiring the city’s first Somali Muslim officer; after his short 21 months on the force, he was fast-tracked to patrol. Noted Dempsey:
“But there was one problem: Noor was unfit for the job, and his employers knew it. Psychological records from Noor’s pre-screen hiring process became available recently. Two different psychiatrists stated that it seemed Noor would be unable to handle the stress of police work and that he even exhibited his disdain for dealing with people.”
That may explain why the city was quick to settle with the family for $20 million. Well, that, and the fact that no body cams were in use during the shooting, and Chief of Police Janeé Harteau was on vacation and spent another four days frolicking in Telluride, CO, instead of returning to Minneapolis to investigate what had happened. Harteau bristled, “At no time did anybody say, ‘This is bad. You need to come back, chief.’” Nevertheless, she resigned the week after the incident.
The ACLU was needling the MPD for all sorts of civil liberty violations and released a statement demanding the new interim police chief bend to its threats:
“The department has long struggled with overuse of force, exemplified by the recent shootings of Justine Damond and Jamar Clark, and racial disparities in stops, arrests, and other police work that have caused tensions between communities of color and the police. It is crucial … take swift and immediate action within the Minneapolis Police Department to make the largescale changes needed.”
Now that Noor’s sentence is in the books, the ACLU is coming unglued, calling the entire trial racist, citing that the “Black, Muslim, and Somali immigrant” Noor is the only police officer ever convicted of killing someone on duty in Minnesota. But he did kill an unarmed woman that he was “in fear of,” no matter his color or creed.
But the ACLU’s Carl Takei and Paige Fernandez further laid their grounds for “racist” blogging that the “blonde, blue-eyed, white” Damond is the “ideal victim by which prosecutors could take advantage of racist tropes to secure a conviction of Noor.”
But Noor was rightly found guilty, and Judge Kathryn Quaintance imposed the correct sentence, saying, “The act may have been based on a miscalculation, but it was an intentional act.”
It Looked Good on Paper
Noor and his partner responded to a possible domestic violence or rape call, and Damond was walking to the squad car to speak with the officers. Somehow, as the ACLU describes, this “blonde, blue-eyed, white” woman struck fear of ambush into the heart of a police officer who, it seems, the troubling results of two psychological exams, should have never been allowed on the force. Noor was unfit. Noor was a ticking time bomb. And dozens of lives are forever altered – and lost – due to government agencies pandering to appear progressive and politically correct.
Noor and his partner were woefully lacking in the skills to be patrol officers. After the shooting of Damond, they finally turned on their body cams in time to capture the woman’s last words: “I’m dying.”
If the ACLU wants to make progress, perhaps it should realize that all Americans have the right to “civil liberty” – not just Muslim immigrant people of color. As the ACLU proudly states on its web page, the organization defends and preserves “the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country.”
That includes the rights of “blonde, blue-eyed, white” Damond and the importance of justice for those accountable for her death. If the ACLU wants someone’s head on a pike, it should start with Noor and work its way through the entire bogus MPD hiring process.
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