MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Jury selection has begun in a Minneapolis police shooting case that sparked outrage around the world. Former officer Mohamed Noor is accused of shooting and killing Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Seventy-five potential jurors gathered at the Hennepin County Government Center on Monday.
“This is not an open and shut case. This case can be won and this case can be lost by either side,” said Joseph Daly, Emeritus Professor of Law at Mitchell Hamline.
Which is why Daly says the jury questionnaire is so important for both the prosecution and the defense.
“It was a typical, homicide questionnaire,” Daly said.
Daly reviewed all 66 questions on the jury survey. Many of them are basic. They ask potential jurors about their occupation, where they live, their education and employment. But questions 16 through 18 focus specifically on Mohamed Noor, Somali heritage and potential bias. Daly said attorneys need answers to these questions.
“Especially when it involves a defendant who is black and especially, in this case, a Somali police officer,” Daly said.
And then there are questions that focus on feelings toward police officers. Question 44 asks potential jurors if they watch television shows that involve law enforcement, such as “Cops” or “America’s Most Wanted.”
Other questions focus on how much of this case someone has followed in the news or on social media. Daly said a number of would-be jurors will be eliminated by the questionnaire alone.
“Some people will say I just cannot be fair in this matter,” Daly said.
Potential jurors will be called back to the government center on Wednesday.