By Amber Randall, DCNF
The Washington Post featured a sympathetic article on the Minneapolis, Minn. police officer who shot an Australian woman last weekend, a marked shift from their coverage on former officer Jeronimo Yanez.
The Tuesday article focuses on the Somali community fearing retribution because a Somali officer, Mohamed Noor, reportedly fatally shot a white Australian woman. The piece also emphasizes the praise that Noor has received from his community and superiors.
Noor fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk, an engaged woman, after she called the police about a sexual assault happening near her house. The Medical Examiner’s office described the fatal shooting as a homicide.
For an outlet concerned with police brutality, WaPo starts off describing a party being thrown for Officer Noor, followed by how his presence on the force made his community proud of him.
When Mohamed Noor joined the Minneapolis police force and was assigned to patrol the city’s southwest corner, the Somali community there — the nation’s largest — threw a party for him to celebrate.
He was the first Somali American officer to serve in Minneapolis’s fifth precinct and one of fewer than a dozen Somali American officers in the department. His presence on the squad brought Somali activists some pride and reassurance at a time of Islamophobia in America and nationwide racial tension stoked in part by shootings of black people by white police officers.
The article then turns to how the Somali community is reacting to the news of the shooting, with many of the community’s citizens scared of being the victims of revenge for the shooting.
The report stoked fear among Somalis in the Twin Cities, who have worked for decades to become part of the city’s fabric. There are now Somalis on the police force, the city council and in the Minnesota House of Representatives. But the largely Muslim population of Somali Americans in the region still face Islamophobia and innuendo about terrorism…
Already, hateful posts criticizing Islam and sharia law are filling social media in response to the police shooting. Several far-right blogs featured sensational headlines that blamed the officer’s ethnicity for the deadly use of force.
Other Somali officers in the police department are “nervous,” Jamal said.
It’s not until halfway through the story that the article mentions the three use of force complaints against Noor, one of which was closed. The article quickly turns from that information to a comment by a local activist on the role model Noor is for those around him.
The article represents a shift from the way WaPo covered the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black gun owner, by former St. Anthony’s Police Department officer Yanez. The newspaper didn’t write any articles wondering if the Latin community would face backlash or retribution after Yanez shot Castile seven times during a traffic stop.
There were also no articles on accomplishments that Yanez achieved during his career as a police officer, other than WaPo running an Associated Press story where the police chief defended Yanez in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
The Washington Post did not return The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment in time for publication.
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