The former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed a woman who had called 911 to report an alleged rape was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison Friday, sparking accusations of racial bias because the officer was a Somali immigrant.
After all, white cops get away with murder all the time, said members of the Minneapolis Somali-American community who stood outside the courthouse protesting the sentencing, according to the New York Times.
The punishment — far stricter than a term of probation Mr. Noor’s lawyers had sought — raised concerns in the area’s large Somali-American community about whether Mr. Noor, who was born in Somalia, was treated differently than a white police officer would have been. Several protesters at the courthouse questioned the system’s fairness.
“Wrong Complexion For Blue Protection,” one man’s sign said.
It is rare for prosecutors to try police officers for on-duty shootings. Of the small number of officers who have been convicted in such cases, they have rarely received the harshest punishments possible.
The sentence for Mr. Noor, the first Minnesota officer in decades to be convicted in an on-duty, fatal shooting, fell within state guidelines for his crimes. He was convicted of third-degree murder, which carried a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, and second-degree manslaughter, which could have led to as many as 10 years in prison.
The shooting took place at 11:35 p.m. on July 15, 2017 after Justine Ruszczyk Damon called 911 to report what she believed was a rape taking place in the alleyway behind her home.
When Moor and his partner responded, Damon walked out of her home and into the alleyway to greet them.
But that made Moor fear for his life who shot her dead through the driver’s side window while sitting in the passenger’s seat of the patrol car.
“She could have had a weapon,” Noor testified, adding that he was unable to see Damon’s hands as she approached the patrol car in the darkness, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
And normally that is all a cop needs to say to be acquitted of any charges involving the death and abuse of citizens so maybe those protesters do have a point.
Both officers were wearing body cams but neither had their cameras turned on and the car’s dash cam had also been turned off, according to a 2017 New York Times article.
It does not appear there was an actual sexual assault taking place in the alley because a suspect and victim never surfaced.