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Noor found guilty of third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter

Plus: Somali community reacts to Noor verdict; Minnesota House votes to ban wolf hunting for sport; Walter Mondale won’t get state park named after him; and more.

Mohamed Noor
Mohamed Noor walking into the courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday.
REUTERS/Craig Lassig

For The New York Times, Mitch Smith reports: “For nearly two years, Minneapolis waited for answers about the fatal police shooting of Justine Ruszczyk, an unarmed woman who had called 911 seeking help. There was no video of the shooting. There was no audio. And the officer involved, Mohamed Noor, would not answer investigators’ questions. But on Tuesday, after a month-long trial in downtown Minneapolis, a jury handed down a verdict that is exceedingly rare in police shooting cases: Mr. Noor was guilty of murder.”

For The Sydney Morning Herald, Matthew Knott says,[Noor]  faces up to 25 years in prison, but is likely to be sentenced to around a decade if he is allowed to serve his two prison terms concurrently. … In Minnesota third-degree murder is defined as causing death without the intent to kill but behaving in an ‘eminently dangerous’ way and acting ‘without regard for human life.’ The charge of second-degree murder, which Noor was acquitted of, requires an intention to kill but not pre-meditation. Second-degree manslaughter is defined as causing death ‘by the person’s culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm to another.’”

For Britain’s Daily Mail, Karen Ruiz says, “The fiancé of Justine Ruszczyk Damond has spoken out against former police officer Mohamed Noor after the cop was found guilty of third-degree murder.  Don Damond told reporters on Tuesday that Justine’s death exemplified a ‘complete disregard for the sanctity of life.’”

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For The Root, Dara Sharif writes, “Noor’s family, in a case where members of their Somali community feared Noor would not be treated as other police officers would have been under similar circumstances, expressed outrage. ‘I’m crying because of how the case was handled,’ Noor’s cousin Goth Ali told the Star-Tribune. ‘What happened was injustice. This is shocking. My cousin didn’t get a fair trial.’ Damond, a white woman from Australia who was living with her fiance in Minneapolis at the time of her death …  one can’t help but note the differences in tone and outcome in this case compared to cases of other instances of police shootings of unarmed, say, black people.”

In the Pioneer Press, Ruben Rosario says, “No question. The outcome of the criminal trial involving former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor — found guilty Tuesday of both third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter — is a big deal. … I argue it’s Act II of this immense tragedy that will have a costlier and longer-term public impact than the criminal trial itself. I’m talking here about the federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit filed nearly a year ago on behalf of John Ruszczyk, Justine’s father, and next of kin.”

For MPR, Cody Nelson says, “The Ruszczyk family’s federal lawsuit can now continue. The lawsuit was halted while criminal proceedings against Noor were underway. Now that the trial’s over, the family may continue with its lawsuit against Noor, his partner Harrity, former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, current Chief Medaria Arradondo and the city of Minneapolis. The family is seeking millions of dollars in damages over what it considers a violation of Ruszczyk’s civil rights. There’s still ‘huge civil liability here,’ said JaneAnne Murray, a University of Minnesota law professor, adding that the convictions could help Ruszczyk’s family argue for a greater settlement.”

The AP reports:The Minnesota House has voted narrowly to ban a resumption of wolf hunting for sport in Minnesota. The vote was 66-65 Tuesday on an amendment to a broader environment and natural resources funding bill. The federal government announced plans in March to lift protections for wolves and return management to the states. Minnesota held three wolf seasons before a judge in 2014 returned the animals to the federal threatened list.”

The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick writes: “It appears that Former Vice President Walter Mondale won’t get a Minnesota state park named after him. Instead, his name stands poised to grace a state canoe route and possibly a scenic byway. On Tuesday, the state House approved a measure that would rename a segment of the St. Croix River Water Trail after Mondale. … The renaming of the vehicle and paddling routes would be a bit of a consolation prize for Democrats, who originally wanted to rename a state park along the river after Mondale, a former vice president and U.S. senator and the elder statesman of the party today.”