We asked for your comments on the charges against former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor in the July killing of Justine Damond after she had called to report a possible rape outside her south Minneapolis home. We received dozens of responses and are including most of them that were not submitted anonymously.
I am a retired law enforcement officer of 22 years and I have never heard of another officer firing his gun inside a squad car, from the passenger seat, across his partners chest out the drivers door window. He was either scared to death or totally incompetent. He is lucky he didn’t also hit his partner. At that close range we could have two people dead.
I think they are justified. It’s taken way too long to have this happen!
My chief worry is that we’ll get yet another jury who won’t actually listen to the facts of the case, but will instead start and end with the premise that the police are always right, no matter what crime police officers commit.
What took them so long? From a civilian standpoint, there needn’t be such a lengthy investigation as it appeared to be quite clear cut. Police chief [Janeé Harteau] lost her job over this! Perhaps MPD needs to stand back and take a look at their ranks: How many more insecure policemen are out there? Shoot first and ask questions later?
Gail Van der Linden
“If you kill someone for no reason, you need to go to prison. That’s the way it works here. Too many cops have used the 'I feared for my life' excuse, and that clearly does not fit in this situation.”
Being a Police Officer is a tough job. You get little, if any, respect for the dangers that your job places you in. Still, Police Officers need to remember: (1) They CHOSE the potentially dangerous job; (2) They are paid with PUBLIC funds; and (3) They have the RESPONSIBILITY to protect the PUBLIC. No doubt about that. I feel that Officer Noor used armed force TOO QUICKLY. That should have been a last resort. Instead, I think that the officers should have stopped, rolled up their squad car windows, and looked around. The noise that they heard might have been an animal, or just their car acting up. Office Noor deserves to be punished for firing his gun too quickly, and killing Justine
This seems to be a tragic error on the part of the policeman. From the details I’ve seen so far I can’t identify a motive for the officer to shoot other than fear. With that said, clearly an innocent woman was killed, and even sadder, killed while she was trying to help a person in distress. I know nothing of police procedures, but it seems both officers were concerned enough to be prepared to use their firearms. The use of the grand jury makes me wonder if there simply was not sufficient evidence for [Hennepin County Attorney Mike] Freeman to bring charges, so the GJ was used to provide political cover. This seems a terrible mistake, one that will leave all involved injured and diminished.
I think Noor followed his training, and that’s the problem. Police are trained to fear the public, to use violence first, and escalate violence until they dominate. Military, not police, training. Law enforcement’s priority so far has been to exonerate themselves; to blame Noor to distract from the inappropriate nature of police training in a city as safe as Minneapolis. It’s also said Noor was inept but on the force as a racial “virtue signaling” move, to get a Somali into the spotlight, but the fact is his supervisors put him out there in a car with Harrity, who was also inexperienced. Minneapolis wants and needs different policing.
Police officers who kill citizens whether justifiably or not, should turn in their gun and badge. They should go thru an extensive outside investigation keeping in mind that all cops will cover for them. No cop will break the Blue Code of Silence ever. We see murders happen right on camera and the cop gets to keep his gun, his badge and his job. They are not here for our protection. They are here to enforce the laws and increase revenue. In my personal life, I have seen enough cops out of control in person to know if I ever have any involvement, I shut my mouth and hope they don’t taze or kill me. They should be drug tested randomly, especially for steroids. I am white.
Officer Noor acted properly fearing a potential 911 officer killing something that has been happening frequently across our nation. Free him.
While I appreciate that policing is inherently dangerous, still there is a requirement that extreme caution be used when discharging a weapon. The jury will decide whether or not use of force was called for in this case, and that is as it should be.
As an ex-LAPD cop, a cop has a tough life; he ends up in situations where an ordinary citizen is not, and he must react. If Officer Noor had been Citizen Noor, he never would have been put in that situation. Sounds like he overreacted, but a murder charge sounds a bit much.
It is possible that I owe Mike Freeman an apology. After waiting six months, I somehow don’t feel any better about any of this. Former Officer Noor very much has the aspect of someone who know he screwed up. He had at least the guts to turn himself in and face it, eventually. I hope he cops a plea, does his time, and gets on with it. Blood lust does not help anyone.
Nathan E. Kuhlman
To fire a gun simply because they heard a noise or because someone approached the squad car is incredibly reckless. They should have first ascertained what the noise was or who the person was. Unfortunately there is a risk for police officers. The idea that you minimize that risk by deciding that firing a gun is the best first option is ridiculous!
John Paul Roy