Who decided to issue Mohamed Noor a gun?

(a leftover from August)

On Saturday night, July 15, 40-year-old Australian Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a woman trained as a veterinarian but working as a yoga instructor and “life coach” (American veterinary licensing requirements may be in play), living with her fiancé in a “nice neighborhood” in southwest Minneapolis and planning to marry in August, heard noises in the alley behind her home. She heard what sounded like people having sex.

At one point, she believed the woman shouted “help,” leading her to suspect a rape might be in progress. So she called police. When no one had shown up after eight minutes, she called again.

911 dispatchers sent a single patrol car to the scene. In it were two police officers, Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor, the latter a two-year veteran and the first officer from the city’s growing Somali immigrant community to serve in his precinct.

Damond, wearing pajamas and carrying her cell phone, was waiting for the officers. When their car stopped, she approached the driver’s side door. By that time, the regulations of their department stipulate officers Harrity and Noor should have turned on their body cameras.

They did not. Instead, from his position sitting in the passenger seat, shooting across his partner’s body with his rounds presumably passing within inches of his partner’s face, Officer Noor shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in the abdomen, either through the driver-side door or through his partner’s window (accounts differ), killing her.

Dispatchers routinely inform officers what they should expect at the scene. Although the 911 transcripts released so far do not include what the dispatcher told the officers, it would be routine to have given them the address and told them to “See the woman.” A woman approaching the car was exactly what they should have expected.

And as columnist Ann Coulter has pointed out, white women are the demographic group which are statistically LEAST likely to pose any threat to officers.

Officer Noor had three previous complaints lodged against him during his two years on the force, two still pending. We don’t know all the details, though in one case Noor was charged with excessive force after a May 25 incident in which he entered a woman’s home without her permission, intending to take her to a mental hospital.

Officer Noor isn’t talking. But the obvious question is: In a “Politically Correct” desire to increase the “diversity” of their police force, so they could say the city’s growing population of Muslim Somali immigrants is “well represented” there (which is precisely what Mayor Betsy Hodges did, making a big deal of Noor’s arrival at the 5th Precinct, two years ago), did authorities put this man on the force despite problems with his character, personality, and attitude which should have been caught in interviews and background checks?


From Minneapolis for the News Corp Australia Network, in an account appearing July 20 in The Daily Telegraph, Sarah Blake reported:

“Chris Miller, Noor’s neighbour, says he wasn’t surprised to hear the officer was responsible for the shooting.

“Noor, 31, is the oldest of Mohamed Abass and Rahmo Ali’s ten children and is a frequent presence at his parents’ modest white two-storey home, which they share with his four younger siblings and is just 2km from his apartment,” Blake reported.

“Forklift driver Chris Miller, 49, has lived next door for the past two years and said he wasn’t surprised to learn Noor was the policeman making international headlines for firing on Ms. Damond. . . .

“’He is extremely nervous . . . he is a little jumpy . . . he doesn’t really respect women, the least thing you say to him can set him off,’ Mr. Miller said.

“’When they say a policeman shot an Australian lady I thought uh-oh, but then when they said who it was I was like, “OK.”’

Miller told Blake that Noor was a strict and ill-tempered presence in the townhouse block, where children play together in a playground in a small park between the units.

“He got into it with the kids, they were outside playing and something got stuck in a tree and he came out and he just started yelling at the kids because they were out here playing,” Mr. Miller said.

“He has little respect for women he has little respect for blacks and kids,” said Mr. Miller, who is African-American.

So: some preliminary indications of a problematic attitude and personality — and a likely discomfort with some aspects of American culture on the part of a man born into a foreign, patriarchal society, where women and children are expected to obey men without question, and women certainly aren’t expected to be outside their homes, alone, at night. (Noor, 31, was born in Somalia. He spoke Somali at home, and divorced his wife in December.)

But even more importantly, will it turn out someone “greased the skids” to put this shooter on the force despite the fact he’d obviously failed to digest and master basic police procedures, particularly when it comes to gun-handling?

Always assuming the preliminary information we have in hand is substantially correct, based on his July 15 gun-handling alone, I believe we can call that “Highly likely.”

Since Noor isn’t talking, the only excuse we have for his action is his partner Harrity’s statement that they heard a “loud noise” as the car drew to a stop, which “startled” them. Some have even alleged the victim Damon “slapped the patrol car.”

Let’s work this through. Pulling up at the home in the “nice neighborhood” of Southwest Minneapolis — no riots underway — Officer Noor believes he and his partner are in enough danger that he draws his service pistol from its holster while still in the car, and points it at the woman approaching from the driver’s side, across his partner’s face or body. Yet he did not turn on his body camera as he was supposed to, particularly if he thought trouble was imminent.

I can’t believe any police department in the world teaches a procedure which involves pointing your loaded service pistol at your partner.

Surely if Officer Noor really believed they were in desperate danger from the woman in pajamas coming from the far side of the car – which I don’t believe for a minute, mind you – his best two options would have been a) to shout “Put it in reverse and get us the hell out of here!” or b) to exit his own side of the car as soon as it stopped moving, turning on his body cam and then drawing his weapon after he had his feet on the ground, stooping down behind the right front fender, seeking the protection of the engine block while opening up a wider field of fire.


He did none of these things. And now we enter an area where readers of this column may be in a better position than the average news consumer to evaluate what follows. Anyone who’s sat through even the first hour of a firearms safety class should be able to help me, here:

When is it appropriate to point the muzzle of our firearm at something we don’t wish to destroy?

Never. But the muzzle of Officer Noor’s service pistol had to be pointed at Justine Ruszczyk Damond. Did he even shout “Halt! Show your hands!”?

And now we come to the supposed “sudden noise” which caused the pistol to discharge.

How can a “sudden noise” which causes the officer to “become alarmed” cause his firearm to discharge — even once? (There are some reports Noor fired more than once, though Damond died of a single gunshot wound.)

It can’t . . . UNLESS the officer has disengaged his thumb safety, and then — instead of indexing his trigger finger along the frame of the pistol — placed that finger inside the trigger guard.

Can that be ruled an “accidental” discharge? If the officer did FOUR THINGS IN A ROW, each of which must violate department policy as well as every common-sense rule of firearm safety — drawing his weapon while inside the cruiser, disengaging the thumb safety, pointing the muzzle at the approaching unarmed woman in pajamas (within a few degrees of his partner’s face), and then placing his finger inside the trigger guard?

Why do I expect his firearm instructor, if we ever get to hear from him or her under oath, is going to say, “I warned them about this guy . . .”?

The only way to make sure officers who have been issued body cameras actually use them is to make it a matter of law that if an officer kills or seriously injures someone while that officer’s body cam is off or “malfunctioning,” that officer automatically loses the “sovereign immunity” which protects him or her from being sued for damages, individually.

As for Officer Noor, specifically — always providing what we know to date is accurate and not outweighed by some enormous extenuating circumstance – which Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau would surely have told us about instead of resigning in disgrace July 21 — he should be charged with negligent homicide.

Do I say that because I “hate cops”? Ridiculous. The vast majority of police officers are honest and hard-working; many are heroes. But they rely on public trust and confidence, which can be maintained only if they cooperate in making sure the occasional “bad apple” is held to at least the same standard as us “civilians.”

(New street signs popped up all around Minneapolis over the weekend of July 24. NBC News reports the professional-looking yellow or orange metal signs, showing a Keystone Kop firing off a weapon with each hand, read “Warning: Twin Cities Police Easily Startled.” The Internet, meantime, was predictably full of advice that people dialing 911 in Minneapolis should ask the dispatcher to “send the police . . . and a hearse.” Public respect and confidence?)

In fact, we all know Mohamed Noor is unlikely to ever see the inside of a cell . . . at least for his FIRST killing.

I don’t say he should be convicted. I don’t know that. That’s why we have trials. But a felony charge would at least allow the courts and prosecutors to require – should this shooter be released in a plea deal — that he stipulate he will never again seek work as a police officer or even as an armed guard.

Meantime, the legacy media will either bury this story and move on since it doesn’t fit their “arrogant white racists oppress pathetic immigrants of color” narrative (the more likely scenario) or else wring their hands worrying that “backlash” from this incident may cause people to have not-nice thoughts about our recent excessive wave of immigrants from foreign cultures, or even “set back the cause of recent immigrants serving as police.”

Indeed it may. And what’s wrong with saying there’s clear evidence here that those who come from vastly foreign cultures may need more time to figure out how things work in America -– especially before we issue them guns and badges?

6 Comments to “Who decided to issue Mohamed Noor a gun?”

  1. K. Bill Hodges Says:

    You’re the one guy who can write about this shooting without apologizing. In most cases the BLM crowd are attacking anyone making an issue of it using the argument “so NOW you care about an unjustified police shooting, when the officer is black and the victim is white??!”

    But from decades of reading your work, Vin, I know you have covered many unjustified police shootings involving victims of all races. (I’m an old Privacy Alert subscriber…) You covered it when the cops were wrong, but you also covered it when the cops were unjustly accused.

    The issue here is more than just a cop making a fatal mistake… it’s the issue of political correctness going so overboard as to put unqualified people into armed positions of authority. You nailed it. We’re not allowed to say squat about his “culture” or his ability to think or behave like we expect American cops to do.

  2. R. Hartman Says:

    “I don’t say he should be convicted.”
    He should be physically removed from civilized society. Whether through deportation to his beloved Somalia or any other means I don’t care. Scum like that should not be on the streets of ‘nice’ neighborhoods, and certainly not be part of police forces.

    I’d say in a society with private police, facing competition for citizen’s respect and money, he’d never been hired and this would not have happened. But then again, governments have never been trustworthy and always put their misguided (to use a euphemism) agenda’s over their duties (if they actually have one, it would be to serve and protect the citizens who pay their salaries, instead of their political masters).

    This guy won’t even be fired for his crime. And the police are wondering why the public trust is gone?

  3. Henry Says:

    And everybody thought that when they came, they’d be wearing blue helmets. Naive.

  4. some guy Says:

    The vast majority of police officers are honest and hard-working; many are heroes.
    Very funny.

    Fact is, police are nothing but a bunch of revenue-generating tax collectors. They ignore real crime in order to bust some guy driving home after drinking one and a half beers in the fourth quarter of a football game.

    I have been the victim of four years of harassment by some drug-dealing punk. I finally got a restraining order against him, but the cops refused to enforce it, making all sorts of lame excuses. I had to call my city council member to get them to pay any attention, but they’re even still they’re making excuses, dragging their feet and seem annoyed that they have to do some real police work to protect a citizen from a real criminal.

  5. Harvey Mosley Says:

    Negligent homicide? Bullshit. As someone who has a CCW if I had shot someone because I heard a “loud noise” I would be charged with murder. He should be too. We need to start charging thugs with badges with the felonies they commit. Arrest someone without cause? Kidnapping. Excessive force? Felony assault. Shoot someone’s dog who is not a threat? Same as would happen to someone who shot a police dog. And I disagree that most cops are good cops. Good cops don’t protect and cover up for bad cops. Bad cops do that.

  6. BADKarma Says:

    The fact that just a day after the murder, the police sent a forensics unit to the victim’s home to tear it apart in search of something they could smear her with says everything you will ever need to know about whether this terrorist will ever be held accountable for murdering a complete innocent.