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A pair of rioters in Minneapolis demanded the release of Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American former police officer who shot and killed a white female in 2017 after she called for help.
In a brief interview with CNN posted on Twitter, the two men are heard demanding that fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin be put on trial for the death of George Floyd, who died after being pinned for several minutes to the pavement during his arrest last week by Chauvin.
“Free Mohamed Noor!” One of them shouted.
At the same time, the men demanded that Noor, Minneapolis’ first Somali-born police officer to work in the 5th Precinct, be freed despite his conviction for murdering Australian-born Justine Damond in an incident that “stunned” his partner at the time.
Minneapolis: Somali rioters shout "Free Mohamed Noor" on CNN.
Mohamed Noor was MPD's first Somali cop who shot and killed a white woman who called police for help. pic.twitter.com/I2VxGOi56h
— Chris Menahan 🇺🇸 (@infolibnews) May 30, 2020
At the time of the shooting, Noor stood accused of violating a woman’s civil rights.
According to reports at the time, Damond called 911 to report an alleged assault that was taking place in an alley near her home.
When police arrived, an unarmed Damond, 40, dressed in pajamas, approached their vehicle from the driver’s side door and began speaking with an officer when suddenly Noor opened fire, striking and killing her.
— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) July 17, 2017
“Basically, my mom’s dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don’t know,” Zach Damond, the son of Justine’s fiancé, said at the time. Justine was living with her fiancé, Don Damond, and had already taken his surname; they were to be married in a few months when she was killed. Her maiden name was Ruszczyk.
Neither Noor nor his partner, Matthew Harrity, had their body cams turned on, which was a violation of department policy, according to reports.
A Somali gunman, Mohamed Noor allegedly shot Aussie Justine Damond dead. This time though, the gunman was wearing a Minneapolis PD uniform pic.twitter.com/vqFCGSgPms
— badboylimi (@LIMUELMARTINE) July 17, 2017
The incident led to the resignation of then-Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau, who stepped down five days after July 2017 shooting at the request of then-Mayor Betsy Hodges.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that Damond was shot through the open driver’s side door past Harrity:
Three sources with knowledge of the incident said Sunday that two officers in one squad car, responding to the 911 call, pulled into the alley. Damond, in her pajamas, went to the driver’s side door and was talking to the driver. The officer in the passenger seat pulled his gun and shot Damond through the driver’s side door, sources said. No weapon was found at the scene.
A year later, Noor was convicted of the same charge that has been filed against Chauvin: Third-degree murder. He was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years in prison. During his trial, he testified that he feared he and his partner were being ambushed.
The Ruszczyks won a $20 million lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis following the incident.
The family released a statement following Floyd’s death that condemned the Minneapolis Police Department.
“The fact that another person has died at the hands of the Minneapolis police using excessive force shows that they have not made adequate changes to their practices and training as we had been told they would after Justine’s murder,” the statement said. “There is obviously much work to be done.”
Some people angrily denounced former Mayor Hodges during a press conference shortly after the incident, but there was no widespread looting or violence either in Minneapolis or anywhere else around the country.
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