News

Shooter cop's short career marred by controversy

THE police officer who shot dead an Austrailan bride-to-be after she called 911 for help in America's Midwest was under investigation, local media have reported.

Mohamed Noor, from the Minneapolis Police Department, was sitting in the passenger seat of a police car when he shot across his partner, killing 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond about 11.30pm Saturday local time, according to KSTP.

The officer had little more than two years experience, and had already been sued over an incident on the job earlier this year.
 

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Justine Damond in a picture from her Instagram account. Picture: InstagramSource:Supplied
Justine Damond in a picture from her Instagram account. Picture: InstagramSource:Supplied

According to federal court documents detailing the open case, Noor, along with another officer, allegedly forced his way into a woman's home and taking her to hospital.

The complaint alleges Noor and the other officer of forcing their way into the woman's house "without any reasonable or legal cause" and accuses them of "violently and forcibly detained her and transported her against her will".

The woman was told she was sent to hospital becasue she was in a "mental health crisis" and calling 911 "a million times", which she denies.

The complainant alleges false imprisonment, battery, assault, negligence, and violating civil rights.

 

Mohamed Noor (centre) fatally shot an Australian bride-to-be. Picture: Facebook/Betsy Hodges
Mohamed Noor (centre) fatally shot an Australian bride-to-be. Picture: Facebook/Betsy Hodges

The complaint was filed to the US District court just over three weeks ago, and the case is ongoing.

Minneapolis television station KARE11 has reported Noor has "two open complaints against him from 2017 and one from 2016", but fails to detail what they are.

Ms Damond's family has been told they have received "almost no additional information" from the state police department over what happened after police arrived at the scene after receiving her 911 call.

A mobile phone reportedly found near Ms Damond's body raised the prospect police thought it was a gun. No weapons were found at the scene.

Noor and his unidentified partner, whose cameras were not turned on during the shooting, have been placed on paid administrative leave.

 

Noor joined the Minneapolis Police Department in March 2015 and is the first Somali-American police officer assigned to the 5th Precinct in the southwest part of the city.

Noor's lawyer, Tom Plunkett, confirmed Noor fired his weapon, killing Ms Damond, who was originally from Sydney's Northern Beaches.

"We take this seriously with great compassion for all persons who are being touched by this," Mr Plunkett said, according to CBS.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), which is conducting the investigation, said in a statement that "initial interviews with officers" still weren't complete two days after the shooting.

 

The BCA said an autopsy has been conducted on Ms Damond's body, adding their investigation "does not determine whether a law enforcement policy was violated".

Ms Damond's soon-to-be stepson, Zach Damond, was approached by local media outside his home on Monday.

When asked by Fox 9 what he'd like to say to Noor, he said: "Why? Why would you do this? He has no idea the impact that he has on thousands of people. No idea.

"But I hope that he wakes up every single day and thinks about it. And then I hope that he thinks about how he can be a better person because that's what she did every single day. And if you don't do that, you're not even living either."

It comes as the devastated family of Ms Damond, who was just weeks away from her wedding, demanded a federal investigation into how she died in her pyjamas.

Ms Damond had called for help after hearing what police said was "a possible assault" in a lane outside her home in southwest Minneapolis. Local media reported she was speaking through the door of their patrol car to the driver when she was shot.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  justine damond



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