Updated: May 8, 2022
Mohamed Noor, ex-cop who was initially looking at less time with the Supreme Courts’ decision to reverse his 3rd degree murder conviction a month ago, now faces 57 months. Noor having already served nearly 2 and a half years could be facing at least 2 more years now–after anticipating a release as early as October.
Somali-American former Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor, who was originally sentenced to twelve years in prison for fatally shooting 40 year old yoga teacher, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, on July 15th, 2017, and, had his conviction reversed by the Minnesota Supreme Court last month, has now been sentenced to five years in prison. The maximum charge for manslaughter.
The incident occured when Damond called 911 late at night to report sounds of sexual abuse in an alley near her Minneapolis home when Noor and his colleague, Matthew Harrity, responded to the dispatch, initially writing the scene off as “clear,” after seeing no sign of trouble. Damond, that late night, approached the police car barefoot and in her pajamas, when Noor fatally shot Damond in the stomach out the car window.
In the decision to overturn Noor’s 3rd degree murder charge, the Supreme Court said there was a lack of evidence supporting Noor acted on the disregard of victim Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s life to sustain Noor’s conviction. Now, Judge Kathryn Quaintance–though Noor’s attorney’s request for 41 months, says she believes Noor deserves max sentence.
“The most serious sentence this court can impose is required,” -Judge Kathryn Quaintance
Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in April 2019, but now, the 35-year-old former Minneapolis police officer is looking at 5 years–nearly two and a half in which he’s already served, leaving him potentially with a little over two years post overturned 3rd degree charge.
Noor’s family and attorneys have been fighting to reopen the former police officer’s case since his sentencing in 2019, stating that they will not stop fighting for Noor. Addressing that he is a good person and made an impulsive decision in response to fear. Noor, at the court hearing, shared that the impulse to fire his gun came from the look of fear on his partner’s face as Damond approached the vehicle, and that he saw Damond’s hand being raised as she approached the driver’s side of the car and acted quickly, fearing that his partner would be shot.
The moment I pulled the trigger, I felt fear. The moment I walked around and saw Miss Ruszczyk dying on the ground, I felt horror. I knew in that instant that I was wrong. – Mohamed Noor, initial court hearing
Before Judge Kathryn Quaintance sentenced Noor back in 2019, she mentioned that “sometimes good people do bad things.” Through the up-and-downs of Noor’s initial sentence of 12 and a half years, then overturned 3rd degree charge, to new sentence of 57 months, his family questions whether his sentence is racially motivated.