There are no new witnesses or new evidence; only two people know firsthand what happened, and only one of them has spoken to investigators.
And yet, months after he received the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s investigation into the July 15 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond by a Minneapolis police officer, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has not made a decision on whether that officer, Mohamed Noor, will face criminal charges.
Freeman continues to insist that he will make a decision before the end of the year, and Minneapolis’ new chief of police said he’s bracing for backlash no matter what Freeman decides.
“There’s going to be a reaction from certain segments in the community regardless of what decision is made,” said Chief Medaria Arradondo.
The death of Damond, an Australia native who was shot in the alley behind her home after she called 911 to report a possible assault, reverberated across the city and around the world. It led to the firing of Minneapolis’ first female police chief, Janeé Harteau, and raised new questions about police training and the use of force.[…]
Noor has repeatedly declined to give a statement to investigators about the shooting. His attorney, Thomas Plunkett, said the investigation’s time frame does not seem unusual.
There were rumors that Noor had left Minnesota, but County attorney spokesman Chuck Laszewski said that Plunkett made sure investigators knew Noor was still here.
“Officer Noor, as is his constitutional right, has declined to be interviewed by investigators about the shooting, and Mr. Plunkett has made it very clear he won’t allow him to be interviewed,” Laszewski said.
Freeman has had the Noor case for 89 days, nearly twice as long as it took him to decide not to file charges in the shooting death of Jamar Clark, Hennepin County’s other recent high-profile officer-involved shooting.
It took Ramsey County prosecutor John Choi 49 days after getting the case from the BCA to announce he was filing manslaughter charges against former St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting death of Philando Castile. Yanez was later acquitted.