MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A BCA expert testified Monday in the Mohamed Noor trial that none of the 51 fingerprints found on the former Minneapolis police officer’s squad car matched Justine Ruszcyzk Damond.
Noor is charged with murder and manslaughter for shooting and killing Justine Ruszczyk Damond in July 2017. Damond had called 911 to report a possible assault in the alley behind her home.
The fingerprint expert’s testimony bolsters the prosecution argument that Ruszczyk Damond never slapped the car the night she was killed. The defense argues Ruszczyk Damond did hit the squad, causing Noor and Officer Matthew Harrity to fear for their lives.
When the prosecution pressed Harrity last week on why he didn’t raise his gun after being startled by the thump, he said he was taught you can’t shoot at something before you’ve identified a threat and a target. In this case, he said he had not analyzed the threat before Noor shot Ruszczyk Damond and to deadly force at that point would have been premature.
A prosecution witness also testified about the collection of evidence. The defense tried to use those witnesses to emphasize points they are trying to hammer home for the jury.
Witnesses, including BCA special agent Doug Henning, testified the SUV squad car that Noor was in when he fired the fatal shot was twice put back into service after the shooting — once within a day of the shooting and then again about a month and a half later.
Noor Defense Attorney Thomas Plunkett asked special agent Henning “a month and a half is a long time for a piece of evidence to float around, isn’t it?” Henning replied “yes.”
Henning also testified about the fear Noor’s partner, Harrity, felt just before the shooting.