The murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor got underway in earnest Tuesday with opening statements from the prosecution and defense. The jury also heard from the first witness, Don Damond, who was engaged to Justine Ruszczyk Damond. Here is some of the noteworthy developments from the day in court:
- Prosecutors say the idea that Justine Damond may have slapped the police SUV came from a Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent, who speculated that the officers must’ve been startled by a slap on the squad.
- The defense says that Mohamed Noor and his partner Matthew Harrity heard a loud “bang” on the squad, causing Harrity to look back and exclaim “Oh, Jesus!”
- Ballistics testing and an autopsy found that the 5-foot-7 Damond was shot in her lower-left abdomen.
- Noor fired his weapon when he saw a figure in Harrity’s window raising a right arm.
- Prosecutors cited missteps in the early handling of the case, saying BCA agents initally failed to test for gunshot residue inside the SUV or to interview witnesses.
- Damond was far enough from the squad that Harrity was able to open the driver’s side door without touching her.
- Coming Wednesday: More prosecution witnesses are expected to be called.
In his opening statements, defense attorney Peter Wold focused heavily on Noor’s background as a Somali immigrant and the fear of “ambush” attacks on police.