May 23, 2019 10:31 PM
Video from body cameras worn by Minneapolis police officers made up a large part of the evidence a judge released to the public Thursday, about three weeks after jurors reached a verdict in the trial of Mohamed Noor.
The former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for fatally shooting Justine Ruszczyk Damond while Noor and his partner were responding to her 911 call in July 2017.
Although the trial is over, the police body camera videos are part of what Minneapolis police are calling a "departmental review" of the entire incident.
During the trial, prosecutors grilled Sgt. Shannon Barnette about why she turned her body camera on and off three times before leaving the scene. In the first video clip, Barnette can be heard telling a fellow officer "I'm on" as she gets out of her squad car, but she then turned her camera off soon after that.
Barnette was the incident commander in charge of all officers responding to the shooting that night.
When Barnette resumed recording on her body camera, Noor's partner Matthew Harrity is heard describing what happened when Damond was shot.
"We were about ready to just clear and go to another call," Harrity said. "She just came up outta nowhere on the side of the thing and we both got spooked. I had my gun out. I didn't fire… then Noor pulled out and fired."
Barnette faced questions during the trial about why she did not have her body camera recording when she spoke to Noor.
"In hindsight I probably should have activated it," Barnette said while on the witness stand.
When prosecutors asked Barnette if she was hiding information, she said "no."
Bob Kroll, President of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, defended Barnette's actions when reached by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Thursday.
"She was in complete compliance with the (body camera) policy as it existed at the time," Kroll said.
Despite intense questioning by prosecutors about why Barnette did not take what's known as a "public safety statement" from Noor, Kroll said such a statement wasn't required in that situation.
"This was completely twisted by the prosecution," Kroll said.
Video recorded by another officer, Jesse Lopez, captured a brief interaction with Noor who appeared distraught and was rubbing his forehead.
"You alright?" Lopez can be heard asking Noor in the video. "Just keep to yourself, keep your mouth shut – have to say anything to anybody."
A review of additional officers' body camera videos shows several others stopped recording at various times while still at the scene. Some seemed confused about the department's policy, which changed after the incident.
The body camera videos, along with other evidence, were released Thursday after a group of media organizations, including Hubbard Broadcasting, argued they should be made public under Minnesota's Data Practices Act.
Noor is expected to be sentenced on June 7.
Updated: May 23, 2019 10:31 PM
Created: May 23, 2019 09:28 PM
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