The Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor who shot and killed an unarmed Australian woman named Justine Damond is currently on trial. He is using the same defense many cops before him have used but time will only tell if this strategy will work for a Black cop. He has now testified at his trial, which is the first time he has spoken out. Noor didn’t even speak to investigators at the time of the shooting.

Noor said he was in fear for him and his partner, Matthew Harrity, when he saw a woman in a pink shirt with blond hair outside of his partner’s window and he yelled “Oh Jesus!” Noor claims the woman raised her right arm and “I fired one shot.” He later said, “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”

When he realized he had shot an innocent woman, Justine Damond, Noor said, “I felt like my whole world came crashing down. I couldn’t breathe,” said Noor, who described feeling great pain. Noor cried on the stand and said if he knew something like this would happen, “I would never have become a cop.”

Noor also explained “counter-ambush” training, which is a mock scenario where two officers are in a squad car and an instructor yells “Threat!” The officers make a quick decision about whether to shoot.

“Action is better than reaction,” Noor insisted. “If you’re reacting, that means it’s too late … to protect yourself. … You die.”

The Associated Press reports, “Prosecutor Amy Sweasy pounced on that during her cross-examination, asking Noor if he believed ‘concern’ was enough to fire his weapon. Noor said it was when looking at all the circumstances and to protect himself and Harrity from death or great bodily harm. Sweasy also attacked Noor for making a quick decision without being able to see Damond’s hands, or whether she was carrying a weapon or a cellphone.

Noor is 33 and has been a police officer since 2016.

On the evening of July 15, 2017, around 11:30 p.m., Damond, 40, called 911 to report a possible assault near her house.  Harrity and Noor were the officers who arrived on the scene.

The officer’s body cameras weren’t on and there isn’t a video of the shooting.

Noor, who is Somalian, was fired from department. The Star Tribune reported that Noor hplead not guilty, “arguing that he acted in self-defense when he fired the fatal shot from inside his police SUV” and  intends to claim “he used ‘reasonable force’ when he shot Damond should the case goes to trial.”

The “self-defense” argument is used by many white cops. We’ll see if we will have the same result for a Black officer shooting an unarmed white woman in “self-defense.”


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