Media organizations argue for access to evidence in Noor murder trial

April 06, 2019 07:27 AM

An attorney representing eight media organizations argued Friday that the public and the press should be allowed to view four police body camera videos that show the aftermath of the fatal police-involved shooting that killed Justine Rusczcyk Damond in July 2017.

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges in the shooting death.


Judge Katheryn Quaintance, who is presiding over the trial, earlier ruled the graphic videos and autopsy photos would only be shown to the jury and lawyers in the courtroom.

The video in question, according to Quaintance who has seen it, shows Damond dying, her clothes torn off so that officers could do CPR.

Leita Walker, an attorney representing the media collective that includes Hubbard Broadcasting argued Friday in court that the public should see whatever the jury sees, in order to accurately report what is shown on the video and the jurors reactions.

More from KSTP:

KSTP's complete coverage of the Noor trial

Jury selection in Noor trial to continue into next week

"I think most people don't want to see this but the [public] depends on the media to see it as its proxy, for all of you to watch the video on their behalf and to report on it," Walker said after court.

Noor's defense attorney's filed a motion late Friday joining the media's objections to excluding the public from viewing the video.

But Quaintance appeared to dig in during the hearing, citing the victim's rights as a reason to restrict access to the evidence.

"I am trying to protect the pictures of this woman naked and gasping for breath in the last moments of her life," Quaintance said from the stand.

The judge did not rule from the bench Friday afternoon. It's unclear when she will make her decision on the motion.

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Kirsten Swanson

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