In the case of the Minnesota-Somali cop who inexplicably shot a white woman reporting a crime, no charges have been filed and the country attorney is blaming investigators. He said he wants “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” before he charges the officer and the officer won’t talk.
Prosecutors don’t need “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” and officers can’t avoid charges by not talking which makes the attorney’s comments confusing.
Mike Freeman, who is up for re-election in 2018, is the Minnesota country attorney who has been holding on to the case of the Somali officer in a community with a large population of Somalis.
Mohamed Noor is the police officer who, without explanation, killed Australian Justine Ruszczyk Damond as she was reporting a crime. Noor won’t submit to questioning in the case.
Freeman said he doesn’t have the evidence and claims investigators “haven’t done their job” in the police shooting.
Are we to assume that all you have to do is say nothing and you’re home free? Bring it to trial and he will have to talk.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which investigated the shooting, turned over the case to Freeman for charging consideration on Sept. 12.
The Hennepin country attorney was confronted by union activists Wednesday evening who recorded the interaction unbeknownst to him and posted it to Facebook.
Officer Mohamed Noor shot and killed Justine Damond on July 15. She had called in a possible rape outside her window late into the evening, and, when the police car showed up, she went down to tell them what happened. As she appeared at the window, after allegedly tapping or hitting the car before she approached, Noor reached over his partner and shot her through the window.
Noor has a poor record in his three years on the job and is currently on desk duty.
When the activists demanded answers at the Wednesday night event – a holiday party, Freeman responded that it wasn’t his fault and he doesn’t have proof of anything.
“Fair question. I’ve got to have the evidence, and I don’t have it yet,” Freeman responded. “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.”
One activist said, “I don’t understand why this seems to be such a hard thing.”
Freeman told the group that before he charges anyone, he has to have “sufficient admissible evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“Fair question,” Freeman responded. “I have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, the moment he shot the gun he feared for his life, and he used force because he thought he was going to be killed. But he won’t answer my questions. … I can’t talk to her because she’s gone, and the other cop just gave us [expletive]. So guess what, I’ve gotta figure out angles of the shot, gun residues, reckless use of force experts. …
He continued: “But if you look at this, here’s a nice lady who hears something bad outside, she calls the cops, they don’t come, she calls again, they drive up in her alley, and she comes out in her jammies and she’s killed by a cop. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Can I prove that the cop shot her? I could have done that the first day.”
He then provided a metaphor.
“Would you like me to charge your friend just because I think maybe he did it, and let a jury decide?” Freeman said on the videotape. “I’m ruining his life by doing [that].”
“That’s just how the justice system works,” one of the activists responded. “You do it to innocent poor people all the time Mike, so why is it so difficult when it’s a police officer?”
“I have to follow the law,” Freeman said. “We’ll get it done, OK?”
Is it the prosecutor’s job to decide beyond a reasonable doubt? We thought the was the jury’s job.
He continued: “I’m not going to make it worse by just doing a knee-jerk charge and seeing what the jury decides, no no. I have to know what happened before I can charge. And that’s when I’m doing my job. And thanks for having some patience. Trust me, nobody wants it done more than me. That’s the big present I want under the Christmas tree.”
Knee-jerk? She was shot mid-July.
Damond’s family was “deeply distressed and unhappy” following Freeman’s remarks, said Bob Bennett, the attorney representing the family according to the Star Tribune.
The newspaper said Noor’s attorney, Thomas Plunkett, was concerned by Freeman’s comments and doesn’t want his client placed under a Christmas tree “as a present to a vocal segment of the community”.
To be clear, Freeman said he wanted a solution under his tree not Noor.
When asked how investigators failed to do their job, Freeman responded: “Good questions and I respect you asking them. We are working very hard to complete our review of the facts provide[d] in the investigation to date and to assist in helping to complete the investigation.”
Freeman has remained publicly silent on the case but did say he would try to make a decision by the end of the year, although he previously said he would definitely make a decision by December.
The union activists are also members of a left-wing group named ‘Justice for Jamar’. They demanded answers one way or the other but they didn’t get what they came for. They say this happens all the time to people of color.
One of the problems in our observations could be the Obama 21st policing. It seems to have the attorney and possibly investigators very confused. They don’t seem to know if they’re social workers or law enforcement.