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Hennepin County Attorney review begins in Damond case

 

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension today (Sept. 12) submitted to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office its investigation into the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond by a Minneapolis Police Officer.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and several senior prosecutors will now review the case file to determine what, if any, charges might be brought in the July 15 shooting of Damond by Officer Mohamed Noor.

Justine Ruszczyk Damond

Damond called police to report what she thought was a sexual assault in progress. When police arrived Damond approached the squad car with Noor as a passenger. Noor shot past his partner and struck Damond. According to a statement given by Noor, he said he heard a loud bang and believed it to be a gunshot. The shooting made international headlines and eventually lead to the resignation of former chief, Janeé Harteau.

Public trust in the department was already frayed with the shooting death of Jamar Clark – an unarmed 24-year-old – shot and killed in November of 2015. That shooting led to 18 straight days of protest outside of the department’s Fourth Precinct headquarters. The officers involved in that shooting were not charged by Freeman and remain on the force.

A week prior to the Damond shooting a Minneapolis Police Officer responding to an alarm call shot two family dogs after he jumped the fence of the home where alarm call originated. In that case a family member accidentally set off the alarm. That shooting remains under investigation.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges selected Medaria Arradondo to replace Harteau. Arradondo, who is the city’s first African-American chief, was sworn in this past Friday (Sept. 8).

It is likely to take several weeks before Freeman announces his decision whether or not to charge Noor.

 

September 12, 2017
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