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Testimony continues in Noor trial

April 12, 2019 06:41 PM

Testimony continued Friday morning in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor.

Noor has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

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Additional officers who responded to the scene following the shooting took the stand, including Noor's former commanding officer Lt. Dan May. May said he was the one who determined the woman lying on the ground was the same person who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault, bringing officers to the location to begin with.

May testified that he sat alone in a squad car with Noor, shortly after the officer had been separated from his partner at the scene of the shooting. 

"He was extremely shook up," May said. "I could tell by the look on his face."

Officer Jesse Lopez was recorded on body camera video telling Mohamed Noor to "keep your mouth shut until you have to say anything to anybody."

He testified Friday that he had worked alongside Noor before, and was simply advising him how to handle the situation.

During cross examination by the defense, May said he trusted Noor's judgment and did not have concerns about him being paired with another young officer, Matthew Harrity. 

Defense attorneys have suggested Noor feared he and his partner were being ambushed when Damond approached their squad car. On the witness stand, May confirmed the department had been emphasizing officer safety around the same time, after a police officer was shot and killed in New York City.

Later during May's testimony, the prosecution objected when the defense attempted to enter one of Noor's annual performance reviews as evidence. Judge Kathryn Quaintance sustained the objection and warned defense attorneys they could not "cherry pick" portions of the defendant's personnel file.

That followed another emotional day in court Thursday.

Several officers who responded to the scene gave their accounts of what they saw and heard the night Damond died.

Some had their body cameras on, which captured the aftermath of the shooting but not the shooting itself.

In court, jurors watched body camera video from Officer Scott Aikins. During that time, members of Damond's family left the room.

The footage showed first responders giving her CPR. One of them is heard saying, "Stay with us, keep breathing."

RELATED: Body camera footage shown in Noor trial

Officer Aikins testified that he helped apply pressure to the gunshot wound until Damond was pronounced dead.

Aikins said he didn't know at the time that Noor was the one who shot Damond.

KSTP's complete coverage of the Noor trial

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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