Prosecutors in the murder case against Mohamed Noor moved to seal thousands of pieces of evidence — from the fired Minneapolis police officer's psychological records to transcripts of grand jury proceedings — whose disclosure they contend would preclude a fair trial.
In a 10-page filing Wednesday afternoon, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office argued that the sealing was necessary to preserve the integrity of the judicial process.
"Public disclosure will have the irreversible effect of preventing the defendant from receiving a fair trial in this case and any other collateral legal proceedings," prosecutors said. Wednesday's filing was the latest in a flurry of motions by both sides leading up to a Sept. 27 probable cause hearing before Judge Kathryn Quaintance.
The memo argued that because investigative data entered into evidence in court becomes public, the motion requests that evidence be reviewed privately to ensure "that confidential data are not made public prematurely."A spokesman for the County Attorney's Office declined to comment. Thomas Plunkett, one of Noor's attorneys, also declined to comment.
Noor faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond last summer. Prosecutors say that Noor shot the 40-year-old Australia native from inside his police SUV while responding to her 911 call near her south Minneapolis home
Noor becomes the first police officer statewide in recent memory to be charged with murder for an on-duty killing. An appeal of his firing from the department has been put on hold pending the outcome of his criminal trial, union officials said.
Since the trove of evidence was "collected or created" by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in preparation of the case, prosecutors argued that it should be considered "investigative data," whose release under state data practices law is allowed only once the investigation is closed.
The other evidence includes a police e-mail about off-duty work, seven grand jury transcripts, as well as body and dashboard camera footage and other case files from a May 2017 traffic stop in which Noor and a police colleague pulled their guns out on a motorist after pulling him over for a minor moving violation.