The Minnesota newspaper StarTribune has reported that second-degree murder charge has been added in the criminal case against Minnesota ex-cop Mohamed Mohamed Noor (not a typo). Noor is the police officer who responded to a “suspected rape in an alley” call, then abruptly shot and killed Justin Damond, the whom who had initially called police, when she approached Noor’s vehicle as it was about to depart the scene.
Noor had already been charged with third-degree murder, and his attorney had announced that he intended to argue self-defense. Self-defense would be equally successful (or unsuccessful) against second-degree murder as it would against third-degree murder–after all, either his conduct meets the elements of self-defense or it doesn’t–so the added charge doesn’t mean much in terms of the legal arguments we can expect out of the case.
Of rather more interest, but oddly (?) getting little current coverage in the press, is how Noor managed to become a police officer at all. By all accounts, he appeared to be an extraordinarily poor candidate for a law enforcement position. The following is quoted verbatim from a Wikipedia article on this issue:
In two years as a police officer, Noor had three formal complaints against him, two of which, as of September 2017, are pending resolution. In a separate case from May 2017, he is being sued for allegedly assaulting a woman.
Following the deadly shooting, the Star Tribune reported Noor’s police training had been “fast tracked”; some suburban police departments see the cadet programs as a way to add diversity to their police forces. Noor’s police training had been part of the cadet program for the Minneapolis Police Department, an accelerated seven-month program aimed at candidates who already have a college degree and wish to enter law enforcement.
In September 2018, it was revealed that in 2015 two psychiatrists and other training officers had raised questions about Noor’s fitness for police duty.
Sources for above claims (some are different than those found in the Wikipedia piece):
NY Post (7/18/17): “Cop who killed bride-to-be had three complaints against him”
StarTribune (7/23/17): Fast-track training put officer Mohamed Noor on Minneapolis police force”
StarTribune (9/6/18): “Filing: Mohamed Noor raised red flags among psychiatrists, training officers”
Anyone care to guess at the prospects that the people behind this hiring decision will be held substantively accountable? I’m guessing the answer to that is “zero.”
Attorney Andrew Branca Law of Self Defense LLC
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