MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been just over a week since a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed Justine Damond after she called 911.
On Monday afternoon, Minneapolis Police released redacted personnel records for both officers involved. The records indicate that Officer Mohammed Noor passed all his semi-annual, semi automatic handgun and shotgun training, as did Officer Matthew Harrity.
Officer Harrity was driving the squad car that night. He told investigators at the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension he was startled by a loud noise, and almost immediately Justine Damond approached the vehicle. That’s when Officer Noor fired his gun.
Now, WCCO has learned the noise may have been generated by Justine Damond herself — banging on the police SUV. No one is commenting on the record — but we do know from the 911 calls that Damond was concerned that police may have gone to the wrong address and was concerned about what was taking them so long to respond.
WCCO has also learned that a bicyclist who was riding through the alley at the time of the shooting stopped after Justine Damond was shot and recorded video of the two officers as they performed CPR on her. The bicyclist was reportedly so close that one of the officers asked him to back off. BCA investigators interviewed that witness Friday.
Damond’s shooting attracted worldwide attention, as well as intense criticism of Minneapolis Police. The fallout resulted in the forced resignation of Police Chief Janneé Harteau. Mayor Betsy Hodges has nominated Deputy Chief Medaria Arradondo to fill the position.
Arradondo is now serving as interim chief and will have to be confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council. Linea Palmisano, the council member representing the ward were the Damonds live, has said she thinks the new chief should be recruited outside of the department.
But Council President Barb Johnson says she believes Arradondo — who she has known for more than 20 years — would make a wonderful chief.
“I really have been absolutely impressed with him for all the years I have known him,” Johnson said. “He can take on a tough assignment.”
Johnson also says she is against a proposal being floated by several other council members that would have the council run the police department.
“The demands are very very different in different wards,” she said. “So I think having one person in charge is an important feature.”
While Minneapolis Police are not commenting on the case, they did deny on their Facebook page that Officer Mohamed Noor’s training had been “fast tracked,” saying no such training program exists.
Tensions over the case have even resulted in threats against one of the attorneys representing one of the police officers. Golden Valley police say they’re investigating terroristic threats made to the law office of Fred Bruno, who represents Officer Mathew Harrity. Bruno is not commenting.
Right now the Damond investigation remains in the hands of the BCA, which won’t comment until that investigation is finished.