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Minneapolis Police Chief takes stand at Noor trial

April 15, 2019 10:39 PM

Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo took the stand for about an hour Monday morning as the trial of former officer Mohamed Noor continued in a Hennepin County courtroom.

Noor fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in an alley behind her home in July 2017 when the unarmed woman, barefoot and wearing pajamas, approached the police SUV where he and his partner were seated. Noor's attorneys say he was protecting his partner and himself from what he perceived to be a possible ambush, "Mr. Noor believed he and his partner were in danager, they talked about a figure outside of the vehicle," replied former federal prosecutor Steve Schleicher.  He is now in private practice with Maslon LLP. 

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RELATED: Testimony continues in Noor trial

He is facing murder and manslaughter charges and has pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense.

But in court Monday, KSTP's Joe Mazan reported that Arradondo testified that he never heard the word ambush, or about a slap on the squad car while he was at the scene of the shooting.  Defense attorney Peter Wold prodded the Chief about "officer discretion and inconsistent policy."

Noor did not have his body camera on at the time of the shooting. But the department soon after announced that all officers would be expected to have body cameras on for any dispatch call or "self-initiated activity."

And in court Monday, Arradondo testified that he expects officers to turn on their body cameras any time they take out their weapon.

Jurors also heard the voice of Officer Matthew Harrity as he was briefed by a supervisor in the south Minneapolis alley moments after the shots were fired.

"I had my gun out, but didn't fire," Harrity said over the recording.  In the recording from another officer's body camera, Harrity did not mention getting a noise or slap on the squad car. 

Harrity is expected to testify mid-week. 

Damond was a 40-year-old life coach with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Australia.


 

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