The Somali-American Police Association has released a statement on this week’s conviction of former Minneapolis Police officer Mohamed Noor in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017, calling Hennepin County’s prosecution of Noor “aggressive” and influenced by “institutional prejudices against people of color.”
Noor was convicted on Tuesday following a jury trial before ten men and two women who found the former officer guilty on third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but acquitted him on second-degree murder after a three week trial and ten hours of deliberation by the jury.
The statement issued by Waheid Siraach, retired Minneapolis police sergeant and now spokesperson for the Somali-American Police Association, suggested that “other motives were at play other than serving justice” in the prosecution of Noor.
The Somali-American Police Association in a 2018 statement accused Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman of being “more interested in furthering his political agenda than he is in the facts surrounding this case.” The association went on further to say in the 2018 statement that the charges against Noor were “not intended to serve justice, rather, they are meant to make an ‘example’ of him.”
Noor reportedly had a history of erratic behavior as a police officer as recently as two months prior to the killing of Damond, when dashcam video showed him pulling a gun on a driver and pointed it at their head during a traffic stop.
Other reports outlined “prior acts of recklessness and indifference” by Noor, and that during pre-employment screening Noor “reported disliking people and being around them.”
Noor is scheduled for sentencing on June 7.
The Somali American Police Association was established in 2012 and is based in Minneapolis with 25 current members. The association claims to be a “resource for the Somali American community and the various police departments.”
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