March 26, 2019 09:35 AM
Hennepin County prosecutors say a now-former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Justine Damond in July 2017 showed a reckless disregard for human life, citing his response to previous police calls and his training records
Prosecutors filed documents Wednesday detailing Mohamed Noor's psychological evaluation prior to becoming an officer and his actions during a call hours before he killed Damond.
Those training records are contained in the new filings. They offer the first glimpse of Noor's behavior and personal insights while he was preparing to become an officer.
During Noor's 2015 psychological evaluation, he self-reported that "... he disliked people, disliked being around people, and was disinterested in interacting with people," according to department documents cited by prosecutors.
Prosecutors argue the evaluation "illustrates his indifference for human life."
Noor is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in last summer's shooting of Damond in an alley behind her home near Washburn and 50th Street.
Damond had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault.
Less than two hours earlier, Noor and his partner, officer Matthew Harrity, had responded to the same area after multiple calls about a woman possibly suffering from dementia, a review of police records showed.
But nearly four minutes after arriving at the scene, officers cleared the call to go to dinner.
When questioned after the shooting, Harrity said he did not draw any connection between the calls about the woman in distress and the report about a possible sex assault.
"This lack of investigative curiosity and indifference to the woman or women who were the subject of these calls shows a disregard for humans and public safety," prosecutors stated.
Months before Damond was killed, Noor pulled over a driver who failed to use his turn signal and "the first thing he did was point his gun at the driver's head," prosecutors said, citing police records they reviewed.
Noor appears on squad and body-camera video drawing his gun during that incident. Prosecutors argue Noor escalated the situation and that case "... shows his indifference to human life and dangerous recklessness as a police officer."
John Ruszczyk, Damond's father from Australia, has filed a civil lawsuit against Noor and the police department.
In a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Ruszczyk's attorney, Bob Bennett, said in part: "The state's entire response underscores the fact that Noor was unfit for duty as a Minneapolis police officer."
Last month, Noor's attorney, Tom Plunkett, filed a motion to dismiss the case based on lack of probable cause. He argued Noor "did not act in a wanton manner, but in reaction to a perceived threat of danger," when he fired his gun.
Plunkett was unavailable for comment Wednesday.
Attorney Fred Bruno represents officer Harrity. He said: "Everybody knows Harrity did everything right and nothing wrong that night."
KSTP investigative producer Ana Lastra can be reached at 651-642-4427, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Motion to Dismiss:
Prosecutor Response to Motion:
Updated: March 26, 2019 09:35 AM
Created: September 05, 2018 08:45 PM
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