Australian ex-pat Justine Rusczyk Damond was shot dead by a police officer, a Somali-American named Mohamed Noor.
We have a brief update. CBS News radio actually reported on this but didn’t mention he was a Somali-American or that he had three complaints against him in two years. Leaving out the Somali connection is understandable, but why leave out the fact that there are complaints?
The NY Daily News did update with that information, but the story otherwise appears to be disappearing. We will have to wait and see. It’s early yet.
The 40-year old bride-to-be was a yoga and mediation instructor. She had put in a 911 call over an altercation in an alleyway. She went down to meet the police, cell phone in hand. As she was discussing it with the officer in the driver’s side of the car, Officer Noor, who was sitting in the passenger seat, pulled out his gun and shot Damond to her death through the door. She was talking at the time.
Damond was in her pajamas when she was shot.
CBS Minneapolis reported that Damond “made the 911 call and was speaking to police officers Saturday night. They were near the alley when the officer in the passenger seat reached across and shot her. A cell phone was found near Damond’s body.”
Damond was shot multiple times, the television station reported.
Noor’s partner was described as “stunned” by the shooting. Both he and Noor were placed on leave during the investigation
KTSP-TV described Mohamed Noor as the first Somali-American police officer in his precinct.
Noor, 31, had only been on the force since 2015.
Justine was engaged to marry Don Damond, who is vice president and manager of Little Six Casino in Minnesota. She used his last name.
Mohamed Noor has three complaints against him
Authorities are being very vague so far about what happened leading up to Justine being fatally shot by Noor, who has a pending federal complaint against him despite his relatively short tenure on the Minneapolis police force. He has a college degree in business and economics.
Noor, who joined the Minneapolis Police in March 2015, has had three complaints made against him in two years – including a lawsuit.
Two are from 2017 and one from 2016 is closed and according to Lou Raguse of Kare 11 is marked ‘not to be made public’.
The lawsuit stems from a police call on May 25, 2017, when Noor and two other officers took a woman to hospital and she claimed that they carried out false imprisonment, assault and battery.
According to the ongoing lawsuit, the woman claimed that Noor “grabbed her right wrist and upper arm” when moving her.
Body cameras were not turned on
“The officers’ body cameras were not turned on at the time and the squad camera did not capture the incident. Investigators are attempting to determine whether any video of the incident exists,” the BCA press release reads. Twin Cities.com reported that the mayor expressed concern about that fact that body cameras were not on.
The fiancé of Justine Damond said his “utterly devastated” family has been told little by law enforcement about what transpired, according to the Star Tribune.
“We lost the dearest of people and are desperate for information,” Don Damond said Monday afternoon. “Piecing together Justine’s last moments before the homicide would provide small comfort as we grieve this tragedy.”
State investigators have confirmed that they did not find any weapons at the scene according to the Star Tribune. Ms. Damond was opposed to guns and would not have carried one. Perhaps Noor thought her phone was a gun.
She was three weeks away from her wedding. Her devastated soon-to-be-stepson called her “mom”.