A judge ordered Monday that evidence in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor will be made available for public viewing, but did not decide whether the data can be copied, photographed or videotaped.
Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance's decision comes on the heels of a Friday filing by prosecutors who requested that none of the evidence be shown to the public because of a possible appeal of Noor's conviction and other potential legal challenges.
The court asked for both sides' opinion on the matter. Noor's defense attorneys have declined to weigh in on the issue.
Quaintance's order said the approximately 300 trial exhibits will be made available to the media for viewing. However, she wrote, anyone who wants to copy the evidence must file a legal challenge in court by Thursday.
The judge wrote that an order on copying trial evidence will be issued at a later date. A court spokesman said a date has not been set for public viewing of the evidence.
The limited access to trial exhibits is the latest in a series of decisions that affected public access to the trial, which itself heavily criticized alleged police secrecy around the case.
Quaintance prompted concerns from the media and public before trial when she decided to display key body-camera videos and autopsy photos on a TV screen with its back turned to the public gallery. She reversed the decision after a coalition of media outlets, including the Star Tribune, challenged the matter on a First Amendment basis.
The judge has also sealed the identities of jurors for now, a rare move in Minnesota.
Noor was convicted April 30 of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 7.
Noor fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond on July 15, 2017, after responding to her 911 call about a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her south Minneapolis home.