Officer Mohamed Noor allegedly shot and killed 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond in front of her Minnesota home, late Saturday night. Damond had called authorities to report a potential sexual assault taking place in an alleyway by her house. She approached Noor’s police cruiser to speak about the possible crime in the alley. Then Noor allegedly reached over his partner and opened fire on Damond, killing her on the spot. Noor’s partner was reportedly “stunned” when his partner opened fire.
Update (7/19/2017; 3:20 P.M. EST): Noor says he shot Damond because he was “startled” when she approached the vehicle. He said she ran towards the police cruiser and he allegedly had no clue that she was the person who called 911.
Damond was shot multiple times. Her family is devastated over the loss. She was a veterinarian, as well as a yoga and meditation instructor. She is survived by her fiancé Don Damond and would-be stepson Zach.
Noor is currently on administrative leave, as authorities investigate his role in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Who is Mohamed Noor?
Noor is the first Somalian-American officer in his precinct. He arrived on the Minnesota Police force one year ago. His arrival was hailed by Mayor Betsy Hodges and the Somali community he originates.
Before the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, Officer Noor was also in a bit of hot water stemming from a pending federal complaint. Retired social worker Teresa M. Graham claims that Noor and two other officers violated her civil rights, when she was removed from her home and involuntarily hospitalized.
Teresa Graham alleges that on May 25, 2017, Noor and the other officers “without any reasonable or legal cause” forced “their way into Plaintiff’s house,” where they’re accused of having “violently and forcibly detained her, and transported her to a hospital against her will.”
Graham alleges in her statement that she had originally called 911 to “to report an unknown young male who was sitting on her retaining wall behind her house, smoking marijuana and appeared to be under the influence of drugs.”
She claims that the police “did not do anything in response to her call,” so she called 911 again.
A lieutenant from the Minneapolis Police Department returned Graham’s call. He informed her that police drove by her house in response to her phone call that morning. That afternoon, Graham had also sent an e-mail to to the mayor, police chief and others “complaining about the lack of response to vulnerable adult reports that she had filed related to the illness and death of her sister in November 2016.”
At around 8 P.M., later that day, Officer Noor and another officer arrived at Graham’s house to conduct a “welfare check” and Noor “reported that the welfare check was in response to a request” by “an anonymous cousin” who alleged that the plaintiff had mental health issues.
Noor’s partner informed Graham that “a cousin had called and accused Plaintiff of making threats to him and his family,” and “they came to find out if she was okay and told Plaintiff that a family member had called and stated there was a problem,” according to the complaint.
The two officers eventually left Graham’s house, feeling that the issue was resolved. However, Graham called 911 twice after they left. Her first call complained of her encounter with Noor and his partner. She called again to “report concerns about her brother, a vulnerable adult with serious medical needs.”
Noor and two more officer arrived at Graham’s home. One officer had “ordered that Plaintiff be involuntarily transported by ambulance to a hospital,” according to police reports.
Graham claims that the officers forced their way into her home without permission or consent from the homeowner. “Defendant Officer Noor grabbed Plaintiff’s phone from her hand and then grabbed her right wrist and upper arm, thereby immobilizing her,” the complaint says.
She spent 1.5 hours in the hospital before she was released by a physician. Police claimed that Graham was in the midst of a “mental health crisis,” and that she had called 911 “a million times.” Upon intake, authorities told the hospital that she had continuously called 911, became agitated and wasn’t making sense.
According to KARE11, “Noor has two open complaints against him from 2017 and one from 2016.”