Posted on September 7, 2018

Mohamed Noor Raised Red Flags Among Psychiatrists, Training Officers

Libor Jany, Star Tribune, September 6, 2018

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor concerned psychiatrists and training officers about his fitness for duty long before he fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond, new court records show.


Noor was flagged by two psychiatrists during the pre-hiring evaluation in early 2015 after he exhibited an inability to handle the stress of regular police work and unwillingness to deal with people, according to the records.

The report went on to say that Noor was more likely than other police candidates to become impatient with others over minor infractions, have trouble getting along with others, to be more demanding and have a limited social support network. {snip}


Noor was charged in March with Damond’s death after responding to her 911 call about a woman in distress near her south Minneapolis home. He became the first Minnesota police officer in recent memory to be charged with murder in an on-duty killing. He was fired from the force on the same day. His lawyers have said that he acted in self-defense. The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis has appealed the dismissal.


Elsewhere in the filings, one training officer noted in a report that on Noor’s third to last training shift in the spring of 2016, he at times didn’t want to take calls, instead driving in circles when he could have assigned himself to them. The calls were for simple matters, such as a road hazard or a suspicious vehicle where the caller was unsure of whether the car was occupied.

In another instance, an officer noted that Noor told a 911 caller that he would follow up on a report of a possible burglar, but never did. {snip}


After responding to Damond’s call, Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, rolled down the alley with their guns drawn. They stopped at the end of the alley, when Damond apparently approached the vehicle and Noor fired his weapon.

Prosecutors said “there is no evidence” that Noor saw Damond or tried to warn his partner that he’d drawn his gun and was preparing to fire. Nor, they continued, did he attempt to tell “anyone to stand back, show their hands, or identify themselves.”

Don and Justice Damond

“He made no attempt to identify a threatening situation, let alone de-escalate one,” the motion said. If the defendant had made an inquiry into the circumstances, he would have realized Ms. Ruszczyk was an unarmed woman who had called 911 twice to report a possible crime, and who wanted to speak to him and Officer Harrity before they drove away, having conducted only the most cursory, less-than-two-minute investigation into her calls.”

Roughly two months before the shooting, {snip} Noor stopped his squad on 24th Street west of Nicollet Avenue and got out “with his gun pulled and pointed downward,” the court document read, citing squad car video. “When the defendant approached the driver’s side of the stopped car, the first thing he did was point his gun at the driver’s head.”


A day before these latest filings, a Hennepin County judge denied a request by Noor’s defense team to file a motion to suppress his medical records under seal in his upcoming trial, saying it does not reach the threshold to keep the request out of the public eye.

Last month, defense attorneys for Noor moved privately in Judge Kathryn Quaintance’s chambers to keep the motion confidential, arguing that it is necessary “to protect information that he believes is confidential and medically privileged.”

Noor is also the subject of two lawsuits wending through federal court, including a $50 million wrongful death suit filed by Damond’s family, alleging that Noor and Harrity conspired to cover up evidence by not turning on their body cameras during the encounter. Legal experts have said the Damond suit could produce a record payout.