Minneapolis Officials React to Decision to Charge Officer in Damond Shooting

March 21, 2018 05:35 AM

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo says the officer who has now been charged in the fatal shooting of Justine Damond last July is no longer a member of the department.

Arradondo said Mohamed Noor's final day was Tuesday.

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RELATED: Noor Charged in Damond Shooting; Chief Says Officer No Longer With Department

"Mohamed Noor was hired by the Minneapolis Police Department on March 23rd, 2015, and his end date is March 20th, 2018," read part of a statement issued by Arradondo Tuesday afternoon.

"At the request of the County Attorney's Office I delayed any employment related decisions in this matter as to not in any way interfere with the criminal investigation in this case."  

At a press conference with mayor Jacob Frey late Tuesday afternoon, Arradondo said he could not comment further on what went into to determining Noor's employment status because of state law.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that Noor has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Damond.

RELATED: Damond Family 'Pleased' with Investigation's End

He turned himself in late Tuesday morning and is being held at the Hennepin County Jail on $500,000 bail. 

"As Chief, I am committed to ensuring that myself, and every member of the MPD, learn from this tragedy," Arradondo's statement reads. "It is imperative that we as a Police Department build trust in those places where it did not exist, and increase the trust in those places where it has been shaken.

"I know that the overwhelming majority of the men and women of the MPD are dedicated public servants who are guided by the principles of Procedural Justice; giving community members Voice, and Respect, being Neutral in both our interactions and in our decisions, and building Trust. If there are criticisms or condemnations of the MPD, they should be directed at me."

Both Arradondo and Frey said they will continue to focus on officer wellness as a component of department improvement, specifically in regard to community relations.

"In order for our officers to do their best, they have to be at their best," Arradondo said. "For so long we've looked at trauma as it relates to our communities, but we have failed to look at that in terms of the impact on our officers."

He added the department would continue to focus on de-escalation and crisis intervention as well.

RELATED: Timeline of Justine Damond Shooting

And Arradondo again extended his condolences to Damond's family and friends.

"My heartfelt thoughts go out to all those who have been impacted by the loss of Justine, and what today's decision will mean for them," read part of his statement.

Former Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau, whose resignation followed soon after the shooting, posted her thoughts on the decision to charge Noor on Twitter.

RELATED: Digital Extra: Noor Investigation Key Documents, Elements

Her resignation last July came after a number of council members called for a change in leadership in the department.

"Justine Damond's family deserves answers and they deserve justice," she wrote. 

"As I originally stated, Justine didn't have to die. This tragedy was a result of the actions of one officer, of which we still don't know why. I ask people to continue to support the officers that provide selfless and honorable service every day to the citizens of Minneapolis."

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, meanwhile, declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

"The Federation isn't privy to the details of the criminal case and cannot comment on specifics of the case," read part of a statement issued by the union. "We recognize the tragic shooting of Justine Damond has greatly impacted, not only her family and  friends, our membership, but also our community.  

"We respect the criminal justice process and wait for the case to proceed before making further comment."

Frey pledged in a statement to work with Arradondo and others to continue advancing standards of fairness and accountability when it comes to the city's police department.

"We will continue advancing a concerted and direct effort to reinforce de-escalation training and eliminate unnecessary use of force, work to make sure body cameras are activated when they need to be activated, provide wellness training so officers are in the right state of mind to make fair and unbiased decisions, and hold officers accountable for their actions through progressive discipline," read a portion of the mayor's statement.

"We are committed to doing this work. "

Frey also extended his condolences to those who knew Damond best, as well as others impacted by the shooting.

"Tonight, though, we reflect on Justine's life," his statement read. "We hold the countless people and communities whose lives she touched close in our hearts. We celebrate her life, her spirit, and her devotion to helping others.

"Our city stands firmly with Justine's family, and hope they find peace in a time of grief. Our city stands firmly with our Somali community and against those leveling blame on our beloved neighbors. Our city stands firmly with those officers committed to improving police-community relations. And our city stands firmly with victims of police shootings.  Together we must chart a path forward to prevent these tragedies from happening again."

Credits

Frank Rajkowski

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