MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey says that his office stands with Minneapolis police officers and the city’s Somali community, and urges the city to “come together” in the wake of the guilty verdict in the trial of Mohamed Noor.
Noor fatally shot Damond in 2017 after he and another officer responded to her 911 call about a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her south Minneapolis home.
For the past three weeks, jurors heard from more than 60 witnesses and experts about the case and procedures. They were sequestered until they reached their verdict. The jury was given eight pages of instructions, which explained the charges and what to consider when deciding a verdict, before ending: “Now this case is in your hands.”
On Tuesday afternoon, a jury convicted Noor on counts of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, though they returned a not-guilty verdict on second-degree murder charges.
Here is the full text of Mayor Frey’s statement:
Justine Damond was a healer who lived her values. She was a daughter, a fiancé, a step mom, and a neighbor. Across the board, her presence quite simply made people happy.
I know these things about Justine because Don Damond, members of her family, and those who knew her best have shared their memories and stories.
I’ve also come to appreciate that there are moments in every city’s history that leave its residents searching for answers – as to why, as to how things could have been different.
What matters most for Minneapolis is how we respond in the days and weeks ahead. Our city must come together – not for any single person, entity, or organization – not for any reason beyond our love for each other and the values that hold us together.
Let me be clear, we will stand with our Somali community. We will stand together for the city we love.
And we will also stand behind Chief Arradondo and our Minneapolis police officers who are committed to improving community-police relations.
While today’s verdict may bring closure to some, it will also serve as a reminder of how far we must go to foster trust where it’s been broken. We must acknowledge that historical and ongoing racialized trauma continues to impact our society.
Wherever a person’s beliefs may part ways with today’s decision, we should find comfort in knowing that not one person in Minneapolis hoped for what transpired that July night.
Every Minneapolis resident is united in the shared belief that such a tragedy should never happen. That shared belief should guide us all forward.
Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender says the verdict “does not change the tragedy of Justine’s death or the loss experienced by her parents, fiancee, family and friends.”
Watch the press conference below:
City Councilmember Linea Palmisano, of the city’s 13th ward, said: “My heart also goes out to our Somali-American neighbors who have been deeply impacted by this tragedy and trial. The best way to honor Justine is to simultaneously remember the pain our Somali community has endured during this tragedy. The Islamophobic, racist and anti-immigrant remarks that have accompanied the discourse of this trial have no place in society. I continue to place the values of safety and equity at the forefront of my work. Something that, far too often, members of our communities of color have historically not experienced. The work we must do is not simple or easy but it can be achieved through collaboration. I have been and am committed to pursuing these priorities in a way that both honors Justine’s legacy and produces equitable outcomes for every resident of Minneapolis.”