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Officer who shot 911 caller sentenced

by Les Sillars
Posted 6/07/19, 01:57 pm

A former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder was sentenced Friday to 12½ years in prison for the shooting of an unarmed woman who had called 911. He apologized in court for “taking the life of a perfect person.”

Mohamed Noor, 33, was convicted in April of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the July 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. Noor shot Damond when she approached his squad car in the alley behind her home.

“I have lived with this, and I will continue to live with this,” Noor said in court, his voice breaking. “I caused this tragedy, and it is my burden.” He said from the moment he pulled the trigger he felt fear, and when he saw her body on the ground he was horrified. Noor’s lawyers had argued for a light sentence, saying that incarceration won’t let him do service to make amends for killing Damond, but Judge Kathryn Quaintance followed state sentencing guidelines.

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Les Sillars

Les is a WORLD Radio correspondent and commentator. He previously spent two decades as WORLD Magazine's Mailbag editor. Les directs the journalism program at Patrick Henry College and resides in Purcellville, Va., with his family.

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    Posted: Fri, 06/07/2019 06:13 pm

    I cannot imagine the circumstances here. I know if I called the police about something requiring their attention I'd likely want to tell dispatcher something along the lines of "I'll be waiting for Officer Noor by my garage door and tell him I'll be in a pink bath robe, green cowboy hat and combat boots" Then I'd wait in my house til the arriving officer knocked on my front door. 

  • CM
    Posted: Sat, 06/08/2019 12:19 am

    Is there a harder job than being a policeman in America?  They are called into horrifying situations and forced to make instantaneous decisions.  It is a tragedy that this woman died, and policemen need to think carefully before shooting, but the officers also need some grace.  Too many thugs carry guns and are only too happy to gun down a cop.  

  •  West Coast Gramma's picture
    West Coast Gramma
    Posted: Tue, 06/18/2019 12:10 am

    Speaking as a woman, if I were in a position where I needed to call 911, I would be near panic and in a hurrry to tell the responding officer all the needed information as quickly as possible. I find it easy to imagine that a distraught woman might approach a squad officer's car to begin receiving the assistance she needs. Because one officer goofed up does not mean that most officers are not wonderful. However, there does come a point when we need to call a spade a spade. I'm glad the judge knew how to pass sentence upon the actions of the defendant in this particular situation, and not upon the overly broad sentiment that cops always deserve a break. After all, it's the police who are hired to serve the public, not vice versa.