MINNEAPOLIS- “Justine Didn’t Have to Die.” These were the opening words in a press conference held by Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, following the shooting of Justine Damond.
Damond was shot by Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor, on July 15 after she called in a possible sexual assault.
No rationale for the shooting was stated by either Noor or the Minneapolis police department so far.
Harteau said of Noor, “We have a very robust training and hiring process. This officer completed that training very well, just like every officer. He was very suited to be on the street.”
However, according to the BCA’s investigation Noor’s actions seem to have gone against officer training.
Noor’s partner, Matthew Harrity, spoke with the BCA investigators. He saidNoor was startled by a loud sound at the end of the south Minneapolis alley which they were responding. Damond called police to report a possible sexual assault. Police say at the same time the firework went off, Damond came to the driver side window of the police car. Moments later Noor would open fire, shooting across the police car and his partner, hitting Damond in the stomach. Both officers attempted, life saving efforts though Damond would be dead 20 minutes later.
Harrity and Harteau, in the BCA report and press conference, respectfully, indicated that Noor firing his gun across his partner was not police procedure.
In the press conference, Harteau said, “I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department, how we train and the expectations we have for our officers. These were the actions and judgments of one individual.”
One aspect of the case that has been drawing public attention is that neither officers had their body cameras on while the events of the shooting took place.
In a press conference by Minneapolis Mayor, Betsy Hodges, she said “Given the facts that we know that the investigators have given us, those body cameras should have been on.”
A final point which Harteau brought up was that Noor is still refusing to speak to the BCA investigators.
“There are questions that need to be answered and he is the only one that has those answers.” Harteau said during the press conference.