On Monday, multiple media outlets named Mohamed Noor as the officer who fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman in the city’s popular Fulton neighborhood over the weekend, an incident that has grabbed global attention and thrust Minneapolis into yet another uproar over police violence.
Officials have not publicly confirmed the officer’s name.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner announced Monday night that Damond – identified by her birth name Justine Ruszczyk – died from a gunshot found to the abdomen and ruled the death a homicide. She was set to marry her American fiance Don Damond next month, and had already been using his last name.
Witnesses at the scene Saturday night said that the officer who fired his gun appeared to be Somali, Jamal said, so he and others in the community began contacting all the Somalis in the department. They knew the shooting took place in the fifth precinct, where Noor is the only Somali officer.
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, not his training, for the deadly use of force.
Other Somali officers in the police department are “nervous,” Jamal said.
“They’re not talking at all,” he said. “You can feel the pressure, because you know, the difference now is ‘one of you guys did it.’
“The fact that the police involved in the shooting is Somali makes it a different matter,” he said.
Mohamud Noor, who is not related to the officer, is also a city council candidate. He and others in the Somali community have protested other police shootings in the Twin Cities region along with Black Lives Matter, but this one “changes the narrative,” he said. Usually, they are protesting the death of black men at the hands of police, he said. Now it is a white woman reportedly shot by a black officer.
He hopes the conversation will focus on police reform, not racial stereotypes.
“This is the time to bring people together,” he said. “We have so many questions. What happened? Why were the body cameras off?”
The two officers involved did not turn on their body cameras, authorities said. The police car’s dash camera did not capture the incident, either.
Officer Noor joined the force in 2015 and completed his field training just over a year ago, according to a May 2016 city bulletin welcoming him to the fifth precinct. The officer graduated from Augsburg College, a Lutheran school in Minneapolis, with a degree in economics and business administration, according to the posting. He worked in real estate in Minneapolis and St. Louis before becoming an officer.
Noor has had two complaints filed against him during his brief tenure with the police department, reported the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Two remain open and a third was closed without discipline, according to the newspaper.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Katie Mettler