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Attorney: Mohamed Noor Won't Testify in Civil Case Until Criminal Case Closes

March 26, 2019 09:37 AM

The former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Justine Damond is trying to hold off on having to speak about the case in court.

This comes as a federal judge must decide whether a $50 million lawsuit against Mohamed Noor will move forward during his criminal trial.

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Noor is facing third-degree murder and manslaughter charges in connection to Damon's shooting death last summer.

He's also now being sued by Justine Damond's father, John Ruszczyk, who claims his daughter's civil rights were violated.

Ruszczyk called into Friday's civil hearing in federal court from his home in Australia.


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Ruszczyk is suing Noor, his former partner Matthew Harrity, the city of Minneapolis, the current Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Janeé Harteau, the former police chief.

The lawsuit claims Noor and his partner were inexperienced, the city failed to discipline officers when policies weren't followed and that Damond's civil rights were violated.

Attorneys representing damond's family said they're ready to fight.

"We're not interested in (a settlement)," said Bob Bennett, who is representing Ruszczyk in the civil case. "We're interested in going after him."

Although the civil and the criminal cases are separate, Noor's attorney argues their contents are linked.

Matt Forsgren is representing Noor. In court on Friday, he said his client can't continue to invoke his Fifth Amendment right while also breaking his silence to defend himself against the civil claims.

Forsgren added that Noor will not testify in this civil case unless the criminal case wraps first.

Everyone is waiting to hear Noor's side of this story, as he has yet to give any type of statement as to what happened the night of the shooting.

In this civil case, attorneys representing the city of Minneapolis say Noor's account is crucial to the city's ability to form its own defense in this lawsuit.

There is no word on when the judge will make a decision regarding the lawsuit. 

Noor has a pretrial hearing at the end of the month where a trial date in his criminal case is expected to be set.

 

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Katherine Johnson

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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