Defense attorneys rested their case Friday, with rebuttal witnesses for the prosecution expected Monday and then closing arguments. Here are Friday's noteworthy developments:
• Ex-Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor’s defense called two of Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s neighbors, who reported hearing noises in the alley the night Damond was fatally shot.
• Noor completed his testimony, much of it under cross examination by Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Amy Sweasy, who repeatedly asked him why he made no attempts to confront Damond or tell her to step back from the police SUV before opening fire. “I had to make a split-second decision,” Noor said repeatedly in response to her inquiries.
• Sweasy asked why he fired only one shot, even though officers are usually trained to fire their weapons until a threat has been eliminated. “I stopped firing once the threat was gone — that’s how I was trained,” Noor replied.
• Noor’s attorney Thomas Plunkett again stressed a key position of the defense: that Noor was following his training techniques, which teaches officers to be ever vigilant for potential threats. “Is there anything in your training that says a blonde-haired woman in a pink shirt cannot be a threat?” Plunkett asked. “No, sir,” Noor said.
• Defense expert witness Emanuel Kapelsohn, a longtime firearms and use-of-force consultant, said that given the “totality of the evidence,” Noor’s decision to use force was “objectively reasonable.”