MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Hennepin County’s attorney said he does not have enough evidence yet to file charges against the Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman last summer.
Mike Freeman was attending the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation holiday party Wednesday night when he was confronted by members of the group Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar.
In a video recorded by one of the members, Freeman expresses frustration with the lack of cooperation from Minneapolis police in the investigation of Justine Damond’s killing on the night of July 15.
“Let me just say it’s not my fault. So, if it isn’t my fault, who didn’t do their job? It’s called investigators. They don’t work for me,” Freeman said.
Damond had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley outside of her home in Minneapolis’ Fulton neighborhood.
Officers Mohamed Noor and Matthew Harrity soon arrived in the alley. Damond approached the squad car and knocked or tapped on the vehicle -– causing Noor to reach across Harrity at the wheel and shoot Damond in the chest.
“[Noor] won’t answer my questions and he doesn’t have to,” Freeman said in the video. “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 s–t.”
Damond’s death made international headlines, and Mayor Betsy Hodges forced the resignation of Police Chief Janeé Harteau in the shooting’s aftermath.
Freeman said in September that he would likely make his decision on whether or not to file criminal charges against Noor by the end of the year.
The attorney’s office released this statement Thursday afternoon: “We are working diligently on the case to complete the investigation as soon as possible. Beyond that, we cannot comment at this time.”
Minneapolis police released this statement soon after: “The Minneapolis Police Department understands and respects the calls for a swift resolution to this case. The MPD has cooperated fully with the state’s investigation. At this point in the investigative and judicial process, it would be inappropriate to provide any further comment.”
Minneapolis attorney Bob Bennett, who represents Damond’s family, says he’s concerned by Freeman’s comments, and he hopes the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension hasn’t “irretrievably damaged the evidence, or failed to recover evidence” in Damond’s shooting. He calls her death a crime.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)