Double Standards: Black Cop Who Shot a White Woman Sentenced to 12 1/2 Years
Mohamed Noor was on-duty when he shot an unarmed Australian woman. But people are protesting that the system was biased against him because he is black and Muslim.
The United States of America has seen more than enough protests – those that acknowledge that many white cops have been let off without charges for killing unarmed black individuals. Now when a black cop who shot a white woman has been sentenced, observers are asking if the system has been biased.
According to The New York Times, former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was sentenced on Friday for the death of Justine Ruszczyk, an unarmed woman he killed while on patrol in 2017. The prison sentence is about 12 and a half years in a Minnesota prison.
Many are questioning Noor’s sentencing – given that he is black and Muslim – saying that he’s been more harshly judged than other white cops who have been in similar and much more questionable circumstances.
Dozens gathered in the courthouse lobby Friday to voice displeasure with the length of Mr. Noor’s sentence, stating that they believed a white officer would have been treated differently. “Wrong Complexion For Blue Protection,” one man’s sign read.
“This case is about a black Muslim immigrant,” Ahmednur Abdirahman, 36, who was among the protesters, told The NY Times. “They are worried about disappointing the white community. For that reason, justice was not served today.”
The sentence came two days after Noor’s lawyers asked the judge for leniency to the tune of no jail time at all. Instead, Noor, who is Somali American, was sentenced to more than a decade behind bars.
Friday’s sentencing stood in stark contrast to other police officers who have appeared to shoot suspects in cold blood without being criminally charged. The difference in those cases, of course, was that those officers were white and killed Black people while Noor is a Black man who killed a white woman.
In one rare instance, former Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, was sentenced to fewer than eight years in prison for shooting unarmed Black teen Laquan McDonald 16 times in 14 seconds and lying about it in an attempt to cover it up. After his sentencing in January, it was reported that Van Dyke could have his sentence shortened.
Minneapolis, MN — White police officers who fatally shoot African Americans usually get away with it without any charges. But Mohamed Noor, a former Minneapolis police officer who is Black, has been sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for shooting Justine Damond, a white woman, back in July 2017. The sentencing came two days after Noor’s lawyers asked the judge for no jail time or even just “less time than what sentencing guidelines call for.” They claimed that Noor showed a rather good attitude and sense of remorse during trial.
Noor, who is a 33-year old Somali-American, was responding to a 911 call of a possible assault near the caller’s house. Noor was with his partner, Matthew Harrity, when they arrived on the scene and he saw a woman in a pink shirt with blond hair outside of Harrity’s window.
Noor said that when the woman raised her right arm, he was threatened and his initial reaction was to fire one shot.
“My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life,” he said.
Afterwards, he said he immediately realized that he had shot an innocent woman. The woman named Justine Damond is an Australian and she was the one who called 911 at that time. He remorsefully said on the stand, “I felt like my whole world came crashing down. I couldn’t breathe.”
Noor also mentioned about his “counter-ambush” training, in which two officers are placed in a mock scenario where they are in a squad car and an instructor yells “Threat!” The officers would then have to make a quick decision if they should shoot.
“Action is better than reaction,” Noor, who became a police officer in 2016, insisted. “If you’re reacting, that means it’s too late… to protect yourself… You die.”
Despite his defense, Noor was found guilty of third degree murder and second degree murder. He was sentenced to 150 months in prison. He is the first police officer in Minnesota to be convicted of an on-duty shooting.