Newly released personnel records shed some additional light on the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Justine Damond, an incident that drew international headlines.
The heavily redacted files released Monday by the department include the employment and training records of officers Mohamed Noor, who fired the shot that killed Damond, and his partner Matthew Harrity, who was driving the patrol vehicle that night.
Before enrolling in the police academy in March 2015, Noor worked a variety of jobs from hotel manager to cellphone salesman. Both he and Harrity did their field training in the Second and Third precincts, covering northeast and southeast Minneapolis.
Noor has worked in the Fifth Precinct, which covers most of southwest Minneapolis, since completing his probationary period in the fall of 2015. He was initially assigned to the “middle watch” evening shift. Afterward, both were permanently assigned to the Fifth Precinct; Noor in May, and Harrity in November.
The records show that both officers completed the implicit bias, procedural justice and weapons training required of all new hires.
Harrity was hired in January 2016 through the department’s Community Service Officer program after working as a reserve Stillwater police officer. Before that, he held jobs at a Boys and Girls Club on St. Paul’s West Side, as a correctional officer at Stillwater prison and as a cashier at a liquor store. He also has been a volunteer youth basketball coach.
While questions have been raised about whether the young officers were sufficiently trained, the just-released records offer little new insight into their on-the-job performance.
Damond was killed July 15 after calling 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her Fulton neighborhood home. When she went outside to wait for police, she approached the driver’s side of the responding police squad. Noor fired once across Harrity, striking her in the abdomen. She died 20 minutes later.
The shooting attracted international headlines and led to the resignation of Minneapolis Police Chief Janeé Harteau.
Noor has declined to speak with the BCA or the department’s Internal Affairs unit.
An investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is ongoing. At its conclusion, the BCA will turn over its findings to the Hennepin County attorney’s office for possible charges.
The only known witness to the incident has spoken to BCA investigators. Sources have told the Star Tribune that the witness, whose identity hasn’t been divulged, may have recorded at least part of the incident.
Staff writer Brandon Stahl contributed to this report.