Mohamed Noor received a very light sentence for killing a human being, reflecting his privilege as a Somali Muslim migrant in Minneapolis. He was the first Somali Muslim on the Minneapolis police force. In 2016, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges expressed her excitement about that fact: “I want to take a moment to recognize Officer Mohamed Noor, the newest Somali officer in the Minneapolis Police Department. Officer Noor has been assigned to the 5th Precinct, where his arrival has been highly celebrated, particularly by the Somali community in and around Karmel Mall.”
Hodges wasn’t excited because Mohamed Noor had the skills necessary to become a fine police officer. She was only excited because he represented a religious and ethnic group that she was anxious to court. And it became increasingly clear — as we learned about Mohamed Noor’s nervousness and jumpiness and lack of respect for women, and from his own account of events that he relayed to friends (that he was “startled” and reacted by opening fire) — that Mohamed Noor was not cut out to be a policeman. He did not have the temperament for it, and if he hadn’t killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond, he would likely have done something similar at some point.
Mohamed Noor was not competent to be a police officer. If he had not been a Somali and a Muslim, he never would have been on the force at all. Identity politics kills. If there was any lesson to be drawn from the killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, that was it. The city of Minneapolis was so eager to have a Somali Muslim police officer on the force that it hired a man who had been found incompetent to hold the job. Even worse, Minneapolis officials did not fire him even when he proved that he was indeed unfit to be a cop.
And now, he is about to be released just a few years after killing a woman. Amid all the hysteria and propaganda about “white supremacy” today, Mohamed Noor’s story shows who has the real privilege in America today.
“Ex-Minneapolis officer who killed 911 caller will be released,” CBS News, June 25, 2022:
The former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman who called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home is scheduled to be released from prison next week, months after his murder conviction was overturned and he was resentenced on a lesser charge.
Mohamed Noor, 36, is scheduled to be released from custody Monday, 18 days shy of the fifth anniversary of the July 15, 2017, fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old dual U.S.-Australian citizen and yoga teacher who was engaged to be married.
Noor was initially convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter, but last year the Minnesota Supreme Court tossed out his murder conviction and 12 1/2-year sentence, saying the murder charge didn’t apply to the circumstances of this case. He was resentenced to four years and nine months on the manslaughter charge.
In Minnesota, it’s presumed that a defendant with good behavior will serve two-thirds of a sentence in prison and the rest on supervised release, commonly known as parole. The DOC’s website says Noor will be on supervised release until Jan. 24, 2024.
Damond’s father, John Ruszczyk, said Friday that the family was disappointed that Noor’s third-degree murder conviction was overturned.
“His release after a trivial sentence shows great disrespect to the wishes of the jury who represented the communities of Minneapolis and their wish to make a statement about the communities’ expectations of police behaviour and actions,” Ruszczyk wrote in response to emailed questions from The Associated Press.
Damond’s stepmother, Maryan Heffernan, said in a phone interview that the timing of Noor’s release — so close to the anniversary of Damond’s death — is painful.
“We’re very disappointed. But we’re not surprised. We’ve been watching events in Minneapolis from miles away and we’re still bewildered about the charge being dropped and we’re still bewildered about the culture of the Minneapolis Police Department,” Heffernan said, adding that she believes Noor was the product of a “very dysfunctional department.”…