OH WELL: Prosecutor: Not enough evidence yet to charge Minneapolis cop in Justine Damond shooting. [archive]

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he doesn’t yet have enough evidence to charge a Minneapolis police officer who killed an unarmed Australian woman this summer, blaming investigators who “haven’t done their job.”

Freeman is still deciding whether to charge officer Mohamed Noor, who shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in the alley behind her home in July. Damond had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault. As she approached the squad car, Noor fired from the passenger seat, across his partner and through the driver’s window.

Damond’s death in Southwest Minneapolis’ Fulton neighborhood sparked protests and led to a police department shake-up, including the resignation of Chief Janee Harteau. . . .

“I have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, (that) the moment he shot the gun, he feared for his life. And he used force because he thought he was gonna be killed,” Freeman said. “But I can’t. He won’t answer my questions because he doesn’t have to, OK? We all have Fifth Amendment rights, and I respect that. So I can’t talk to her because she’s gone, and the other cop just gave us some (expletive), OK? So guess what? I gotta figure out angles of the shot, gun residues, reckless-use-of-force experts.”

Here [archive] is some information about the killing from several months ago:

Noor is one of about half a dozen Somali-Americans on the Minneapolis police force and he was the first such hire in the 5th precinct [Minneapolis has the nation’s largest community of Somali refugees].

He has been with the department two years and in that time had already been the subject of two complaints and one lawsuit brought by a woman who alleged he brutalized her.

Noor reportedly told friends he heard a “loud noise” as he and his partner pulled into an alleyway where Damond had summoned them via a 9-1-1 call in which she tried to report a sexual assault in progress. If that story is true, the noise startled Noor, causing him to fire his weapon across his partner, who was driving, through the car window, striking Damond once in the abdomen. She died at the scene.

The shooting by Noor remains under investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but Harteau said the officers involved should have turned on their body cameras. She characterized the shooting as “one individual’s actions” and not reflective of the department.