September 12, 2018 10:20 PM
Lawyers for the fired Minneapolis police officer charged in the shooting death of Justine Damond have filed a response to the state outlining "factual misstatements and mischaracterizations."
Mohamed Noor’s attorneys Thomas Plunkett and Peter Wold dispute several items brought up in the state’s court filing last week, including a motor vehicle stop on May 18, 2017, incidents during four training days and “misleading discussion” of his psychological evaluation.
Noor’s lawyers want this information declared inadmissible in court and the criminal charges dismissed.
In Wednesday’s filing, Noor's team called the state's claims “disgraceful” and “inaccurate," stating that “these lies by omission and clear misstatements of fact actively mislead the reader and obscure the truth.”
In a prior court filing, prosecutors detail a minor traffic stop, writing in the court filing that Noor "pulled out his gun, carried it toward the car, and pointed it into the driver's window at the driver's head before uttering a word."
Noor's attorneys write that squad car video from the stop shows Noor's gun in a "low carry" position and the former officer was calm at the time. They argue Noor "determined the driver was not a threat and holstered his gun about 23 or 24 seconds after arriving at the side of the car."
In the response, Noor's defense team also said squad car video showed the "driver traveled nearly 2 city blocks before stopping," and both Noor and the officer with him suspected "that the driver had stashed contraband under the passenger seat."
The defense's filing also disputes claims made by the state about Noor's training. Noor's attorneys write that Noor never had an "unsatisfactory day" during his time with a field training officer, and he was never "found to be not acceptable of any task."
The state's reliance on Noor's psych evaluation was also called into question.
Prosecutors argued that Noor himself "reported disliking people and being around them," and he "self-reported disinterest in interacting with other people."
Noor's attorneys argue the court should not consider the prosecution's blind reading of Noor's psych evaluation because the conclusions are "based on cultural bias and make no reflection of Officer Noor as a person." Noor's team also addressed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or MMPI. It's an important psychological test which assesses personality traits and mental health along with clinical issues.
Defense attorneys said prosecutors didn't pass along information "showing a racial or cultural bias of 20 to 40% against the minority test takers." However, the Hennepin County Attorney's office insisted the MMPI did what it was designed to do and in Noor's case, revealed a "reckless disregard for human life."
Noor has another court hearing in two weeks.
Ben Rodgers & Beth McDonough
Updated: September 12, 2018 10:20 PM
Created: September 12, 2018 03:09 PM
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