Mohamed Noor’s attorneys make case for 41 months as resentencing date nears

Attorneys for Mohamed Noor, a former Minneapolis Police officer who fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017, have filed a motion asking for just over three years in prison ahead of his resentencing date next week.

Last month, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed Noor’s third-degree murder conviction. According to court records, the case has now been sent to the district court, where Noor will be resentenced for his second-degree manslaughter conviction.

A jury convicted Noor in the 2017 death of Damond. The Australian woman had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home. When the former officer and his partner responded to the alley behind her home, Damond approached the squad car. Noor fired his gun across his partner, striking Damond, who died moments later of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

According to the court documents submitted on Thursday, Noor’s attorneys are asking for the former officer to serve 41 months in jail, which is in line with the sentencing guidelines of 41 to 57 months. His original sentence was 12½ years in prison. If the judge grants this motion, Noor could be released in the near future, as he has been behind bars since June of 2019.

Other reasons the defense states as reasoning for a lesser sentence include Noor being in the same kind of custody as a Level-4 violation, which the defense argues he hasn’t done anything as such. Documents show that Noor had many positive comments written about him since he was placed at the Oak Park Heights Correctional facility. Another reason suggests the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic plays a role as well.

"A 41-month sentence would recognize this increased severity of Mr. Noor’s incarceration to date due to the COVID-19 pandemic," the document reads, in part.

"Mr. Noor respectfully asks the Court to resentence him within the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Specifically, Mr. Noor seeks a resentence of 41 months. This period of incarceration recognizes the particularly harsh nature of Mr. Noor’s incarceration and recognizes the work he had done in prison to help those around him and be supportive of staff," the memorandum concludes.

The motion would also include Noor being on supervised release upon his release from prison.