The former Minneapolis cop who shot and killed an unarmed woman who called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in an alleyway behind her home is set to be released from jail next week, months after his murder conviction was overturned. and he was re-sentenced to a lesser charge.
According to the Department of Corrections’ online records, Mohamed Noor, 36, is due to be released from custody on Monday.
Noor was initially convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter in 2017 when Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old dual US-Australian citizen and yoga teacher, was shot dead. But last year, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned his murder conviction and sentence to 12.5 years in prison, saying the murder charge did not apply to the circumstances of this case.
He was re-sentenced to four years and nine months on charges of manslaughter.
In Minnesota, a well-behaved defendant is expected to serve two-thirds of his sentence in prison and the remainder under supervision, commonly known as parole. The DOC website states that Nur will remain under surveillance until January 24, 2024.
Daymond’s father, John Ruszczyk, said on Friday the family was disappointed that Noor’s conviction for third-degree murder was overturned.
“His release after a trivial verdict demonstrates the utmost disrespect for the will of the jurors who represented the communities of Minneapolis and their desire to make a statement about the community’s expectations of police behavior and actions,” Ruszczyk wrote in response to questions emailed to The Washington Post. Associated Press.
After his conviction, Noor began serving time in the Minnesota maximum security prison in Oak Park Heights, but the Minneapolis newspaper, star tribune, reported that in July 2019 he was transferred to a facility in North Dakota for his safety. Department of Corrections spokesman Nicholas Kimball said Noor was still out of state, but did not specify where.
“For security reasons, we are unable to provide more details than what is available on the public website, which is the scheduled release date,” Kimball said.
It was unclear if Noor would return to Minnesota. His lawyer, Tom Plunkett, declined to comment, saying, “At this point, I just want to respect Mr. Noor’s privacy.”
Damond’s murder angered US and Australian citizens and led to the resignation of the Minneapolis police chief. It also led the department to change its body camera policy; Noor and his partner did not have them activated when they investigated Daymond’s call to 911.
Noor testified at his trial in 2019 that he and his partner were driving slowly down an alley when the loud bang of their police SUV left him in fear for his life. He said he saw a woman appear in the partner’s driver’s side window and raise her right hand before he fired from the passenger seat to stop what he saw as a threat.
Daymond was a meditation teacher and life coach who was murdered about a month before her wedding. Her maiden name was Justine Ruszczyk, and although she was not yet married, she was already using her fiancé’s last name.
Her fiancé, Don Damond, declined to comment on Noor’s impending release, but said during Noor’s re-sentencing that he had forgiven the former officer and that he had no doubt that Justine would also have forgiven him “for your inability to control your emotions that night.” “
Noor, a Somali-American, is believed to be the first Minnesota officer convicted of murder for on-duty shooting. Activists who have long called for officers to be held accountable for the lethal use of force welcomed the murder conviction but lamented that it was in a case in which the officer is black and his victim is white.
Following Noor’s conviction, former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, white, was found guilty of the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, a black man, who was pinned to the pavement under Chauvin’s knee. Chauvin’s colleague, Thomas Lane, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting manslaughter, while two other officers are awaiting trial on charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. All four were convicted on federal charges of violating Floyd’s rights.
In another case, former Brooklyn Center employee Kim Potter was found guilty of manslaughter after she said she mistook a stun gun for a gun when she fatally shot Donte Wright, a 20-year-old black motorist, during a traffic stop last year.
Within days of Noor’s conviction, Minneapolis agreed to pay $20 million to Daymond’s family, in what was at the time considered the largest settlement resulting from police violence in Minnesota. It was surpassed last year when Minneapolis agreed to a $27 million settlement for Floyd’s death when Chauvin went to trial.