New sentence means cop who killed unarmed Minneapolis woman will be free by summer

The Somali-American cop who killed an unarmed Australian-American woman will be free by summer thanks to a new, more lenient sentence.

Left: Mohamed Noor/Hennepin County Jail; Right: Justine Damond/Wikimedia Commons

A former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman who called him for help will be free just eight months from now.

On a July evening in 2017 an Australian-American yoga instructor named Justine Ruszczyk (aka Justine Damond) called 911 to report a possible rape. Two Minneapolis police officers were dispatched to respond, including Somali-American Mohamed Noor, who was fast tracked through training as part of an effort to quickly increase the racial diversity of the force.

Noor had been flagged by two psychiatrists and other training officers who suggested he was unfit for duty, had been sued for reportedly assaulting a woman while on duty and was the subject of three formal complaints during his first two years as a police officer.

Noor exhibited an inability to handle the stress of being a cop and an unwillingness to deal with the people of Minneapolis, according to the psychiatrists.

Despite this, he still had a badge and a gun when he responded to Damond’s call. As an unarmed, barefoot Damond approached the squad car Noor was riding in, he fired his weapon from the passenger seat, across his partner’s nose, killing the woman.

The incident was initially ruled a homicide and Noor was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison. However, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned this conviction last month and a judge has now handed him a much smaller 57-month manslaughter sentence.

Because Minnesota criminals only have to serve two thirds of their sentences before being turned free on probation, and because of the time Noor already served before his murder conviction was overturned, he will be free by June 27, 2022.

Hennepin County Judge Kathryn Quaintance presided over the case. Initially appointed by former Gov. Jesse Ventura, she’s been on the bench since 2000, enjoying four reelections, the most recent of which was in 2020.

Despite the fact that Quaintance ensured that Noor will be released in time to enjoy this summer, Noor’s father Mohamed Abass, thinks she’s a racist for not freeing the former cop immediately.

Abass accused Quaintance of being “the worst judge in Minnesota,” saying she is “very hateful” toward Somalis. “This judge hates Somali community,” he said.