Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor facing murder and manslaughter charges

Officer Mohamed Noor

City of Minneapolis
Officer Mohamed Noor

From MPR reporters Jon Collins, Mukhtar M. Ibrahim, Riham Feshir, Brandt Williams: Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor ‘recklessly and intentionally fired’ his gun, killing 911 caller Justine Ruszczyk last July, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Tuesday as he announced murder and manslaughter charges against Noor in Ruszczyk’s death. In the seconds between the moment Ruszczyk approached Noor’s squad car and when he shot, ‘there is no evidence that Officer Noor encountered a threat, appreciated a threat, investigated a threat or confirmed a threat that justified his decision to use deadly force,’ Freeman told reporters Tuesday afternoon. Noor was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. It appears to be the first time a Minneapolis officer has been charged with murder in a fatal shooting while on duty.”

International attention: The Sydney Morning Herald says: “The shooting drew condemnation in Minnesota and Australia, where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it ‘shocking’ and ‘inexplicable.’ Then-Minneapolis police chief Jamee Harteau resigned after city officials said procedures had been violated and Damond ‘didn’t have to die.’ The second-degree manslaughter charge alleges he acted with ‘culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk.’”

Closer to home, The Washington Post’s Mark Berman and Marwa Eltagouri write: “[County attorney Mike] Freeman on Tuesday said that the charges would have come sooner had some of [Mohamed] Noor’s fellow officers cooperated with investigators. Because of some officers’ unwillingness to cooperate, Freeman convened a grand jury. He said that in his 18 years on the job he had never encountered police officers who weren’t suspects who refused to ‘do their duty and come talk to us,’ he said. … Damond was one of at least 971 people fatally shot by an U.S. police officer in 2017, according to a Washington Post database. Charges against officers for on-duty shootings are rare and convictions are even less common.”

Lucia out. The Pioneer Press’ Dane Mizutani writes: “After 19 seasons running one of the most prestigious programs in the country, Don Lucia has stepped down as the University of Minnesota men’s hockey coach. Lucia spoke alongside athletics director Mark Coyle at a news conference Tuesday afternoon and thanked the athletics department for letting him leave on his own terms. … Lucia will transition into a role as a special assistant to Coyle through the end of his current contract, which runs through the end of the 2018-19 school year. In that role, Lucia will assist in fundraising for various upgrades at 3M Arena at Mariucci, among other things.”

No gun-control legislation this year. MPR’s Brian Bakst says, “A last-ditch attempt to revive a pair of gun control bills fizzled Tuesday, likely sealing their fate for the rest of Minnesota’s legislative session. Rep. David Pinto, DFL-St. Paul, tried to advance bills to broaden background checks and to allow seizure of firearms from people regarded as a risk. Both had been indefinitely suspended after a House Public Safety and Security Policy Committee hearing weeks ago, and the votes Tuesday against moving them forward were identical. … Indeed, the 9-7 margin to stop the background check bill — where Republican Rep. Keith Franke of St. Paul Park was the sole lawmaker to break party ranks — was the same as last time.”

Stribber Maura Lerner reports, “Two Jewish groups are condemning anti-Semitic fliers that appeared on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus Monday. The fliers, which featured Nazi-era symbols, blamed prominent Jewish politicians for attacking ‘our beloved Second Amendment’. … The fliers, headlined ‘Why Are Jews After Our Guns,’ listed Bernie Sanders, Chuck Schumer and other Jewish lawmakers by name, next to images of the star-shaped badges that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi concentration camps.” 

But we need our rifles because we’re all avid hunters, right? Says Nathan Rott for NPR, “ In rural Wisconsin, the passion for hunting still appears to burn as bright as the blaze orange jackets you’ll see stalking through fields or clambering up into trees during deer season. But stop into a meat processing center or a sporting goods store, ask about it at a bar or a hunting shack and you’ll hear from people like Wrasse: Fewer people are hunting. ‘It’s just kind of fading away,’ he says. A new survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows that today, only about 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, actually hunt. That’s half of what it was 50 years ago and the decline is expected to accelerate over the next decade.” 

Why was this not already illegal? The AP says, “The death of an 8-year-old boy who was struck by a snowmobile spurred Minnesota legislators to advance a bill that would make drunk driving an offense no matter the vehicle being operated. The House transportation committee approved a bill to allow for DWI convictions whether they’re on the road, trails or snow … . Alan Geisenkoetter Jr. suffered severe brain damage and died in January after he was struck on Chisago Lake. The snowmobile’s driver, Eric Coleman, was intoxicated and has a history of drunk driving and license revocations, prosecutors said. Coleman had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit for driving, authorities said. He now faces murder charges.”

Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 03/21/2018 - 07:53 am.

    Decrease in hunting

    Perhaps the decreased interest in hunting (and therefore decreased purchase and use of guns used for that) has contributed to the shift in NRA away from a hunting focused organization and towards the current single-minded focus on 2nd Amendment and guns for guns’ sake. Because we can’t have anything threatening the ongoing profit from gun sales, right?

  2. Submitted by Pat Berg on 03/21/2018 - 07:54 am.

    New DWI bill

    I wonder why they didn’t also include watercraft?

  3. Submitted by Greg Price on 03/21/2018 - 08:42 am.

    decrease in Hunting is real

    It is only logical that Hunting is on the decrease….you have both parents working to survive their cost of living and the inevitable electronic madness that the marketplace and teens inflict on themselves….

    However there are still bright spots… I am a certified HuntSafe Instructor and we give free classes twice yearly for all who want to participate that are twelve and older.

    We work hard to present a safe environment for children to learn about firearms and their Hunting heritage. These kids want to learn and most of them come from Hunting families

    You still have decreasing opportunities in way of amount of public land available and just time to make it work. There is competition from athletics and other organizations as well.

    That being said….take a kid Hunting and teach him manners and fair chase….when he or she is old…they will not depart from it..

    I am a volunteer and I do this because I am giving back…not a part of a political agenda…..

    you don’t do wrong by doing right…

    thanks

    Greg Price

  4. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 03/21/2018 - 08:45 am.

    The NRA was never solely focused on hunting.

    It has always been, and still is, the preeminent association for the promotion of safe firearm handling and all shooting sports. The added political focus has only come about since some port siders have been focused on usurping our 2nd amend *right* to bear arms.

    I know this, because I am the NRA..

  5. Submitted by richard owens on 03/21/2018 - 11:06 am.

    The NRA funded the JROTC program that taught that last killer

    The NRA and “safety” are clearly not complementary. Their political goals are blocking real safety measures for PROFIT. The NRA peddles a phone logic of misanthropy and vigilantism.

    Although I am old enough and rural enough to have some gun experience, I have also lived long enough to see how dangerous these weapons are in the hands of impressionable youth and those whose stress and impulse levels cannot be managed, (like many kids today).

    Sadly we have not yet realized that violence cannot be un-done, and is predictably the cause of more violence, more vengeance, more death and no solution to the initial problem.

    The NRA is pushing a philosophy of fear and justified violent retribution for individuals. Their philosophy is one only psychopaths and sociopaths can embrace.

    I recommend political candidates refuse NRA monies or suffer a NO vote for their candidacy.

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