Sunday, March 11, 2018

Noor, Damond, Hodges, Ellison and Freeman. Nightmare in Minnesota.

More than 30 police officers have been subpoenaed as part of a grand jury investigation into the fatal police shooting of Justine Damond by Mohammed Noor in Minneapolis. Most of the 30 officers subpoenaed to testify are Noor’s trainers and academy educators.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman convened the grand jury as he weighs whether to charge Noor, who has refused to speak with investigators. Noor’s partner told investigators that Noor fired his weapon after hearing a loud noise right before Damond approached their police SUV.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is convening a grand jury to gather evidence in the 2017 shooting of Justine Damond, but said he still will decide whether Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor will face charges in her death.
Matthew Harrity, Noor's partner the night Damond was killed, was served a subpoena Wednesday to testify before a grand jury, said his attorney Fred Bruno.
Freeman will continue the office's two-year-old policy where he makes the decision on whether or not to bring charges in officer-involved shootings. Because grand jury proceedings are secret, we cannot comment on grand jury subpoenas or any testimony that occurs before a grand jury," Laszewski said.
Bob Bennett, an attorney for Damond's family, said they support Freeman's move, saying witnesses involved in the case have been uncooperative and "untruthful."
"I and the family are happy that the Hennepin County Attorney is using every means at their disposal to get people to cooperate in this investigation and suffer the penalties of perjury if they lie to the grand jury. I question whether [witnesses] have been totally forthcoming or told the truth in whole."
Freeman's decision to use a grand jury reverses several pronouncements he made in Spring 2016 that he would stop using them in police shooting cases.
In December 2016, Freeman said one of the biggest regrets of his career was using grand juries to investigate police-involved shootings.
"I made a mistake in the first 17 years of being a county attorney by using a grand jury to investigate cop-involved shootings."
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says that he still does not yet have enough evidence to file charges against Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American Minneapolis police officer, in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, blaming investigators who “haven’t done their job.” The shooting death occurred 6 months ago in an upscale Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood.
“I’ve got to have the evidence, and I don’t have it yet. Let me just say it’s not my fault. So if it isn’t my fault, who didn’t do their job? Investigators. They don’t work for me. They haven’t done their job.”
Mohamed Noor has still refused to talk to investigators and is on paid administrative leave. Former Mayor Betsy Hodges said, back then, she was "frustrated that Officer Noor won't tell his story to BCA investigators."
Mohamed Noor graduated in 2015 from the city’s accelerated police cadet program. The seven-month training is a quicker, nontraditional route to policing. The Minneapolis program covers tuition at Hennepin Technical College and pays trainees a $20-an-hour salary with benefits while they work to get licensed as a police officer. After that their salary bumps up. The Minneapolis Police Department has struggled in recent years with a shrinking pool of applicants for job openings.
Noor had been with the force for two years and was hailed as the first "Somali-American" officer in the precinct by Mayor Betsy Hodges, who held a welcoming dinner to celebrate his hire. On the night of the shooting, Noor was paired with officer Matthew Harrity, who had been a cop for less than one year.
The shooting victim was a 40 year old white woman from Australia. The two officers pulled into an alley while responding to a 911 call from Damond. She was reporting a rape behind her house. She was at the patrol car's driver’s side door and talking to the driver, Officer Garrity, when Officer Noor, SEATED in the passenger seat, shot her "several times" past Garrity and through the driver’s side door. He allegedly was startled by a loud bang. The body cam wasn't turned on. Officer Harrity has spoken with the BCA. Noor has refused.
BTW, the St. Anthony police officer, Jeronimo Yanez, a Hispanic, who fatally shot a black man, Philando Castile, during a traffic stop in 2016, was charged with second-degree manslaughter and two felony counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm by Ramsey County Attorney John Choi within FOUR MONTHS AFTER THE SHOOTING. The media called for Yanez's head immediately. The Twin Cities was blanketed with hate filled and hysterical 24/7 news coverage vilifying Yanez for a YEAR. Yet, the media have totally buried this story about Noor and Damond. Why? What's the difference in this case?

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