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Mohamed Noor verdict elicits opposite emotions from Somali Minnesotans, Australians

Wednesday May 1, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor angered several of his supporters in the Minnesota Somali community, and delighted Australians.

Noor was convicted Tuesday of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the 2017 shooting death of Australia-native Justine Ruszczyk Damond in southwest Minneapolis. She had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in her alley.

Somali community leader Omar Jamal says many people have been calling him to say they feel Noor was innocent. He says they have the right be upset, but they need to understand that Noor was given due process.

“A jury reached the verdict, six of whom were member of the minority community. And that’s why I keep telling them that we have to respect the system. We have to respect the verdict,” Jamal said.

He says the verdict has also made Somali community members hesitant about becoming police officers.

Australians woke up to headlines like this Tuesday: “Shot in her pajamas: Family breaks down as killer cop found guilty.”

WCCO-TV spoke with Australian reporter Kimberley Pratt, who traveled to Minnesota to cover the Noor trial for 10 News First Sydney. She said the case captured the countries attention because officer-involved shootings are rare in Australia.

“We knew [Noor] did it, but it was whether how much weight the jury put on that ‘reasonable use of force,’ which is something that we don’t really see in Australia at all, and that was something that was quite perplexing,” Pratt said. “So while we … kind of thought that he would be found guilty, it was that ‘use of force’ that really threw things up in the air a bit.”

The judge will sentence Mohamed Noor on June 7. He will remain in custody until then.