MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Rep. Ilhan Omar responded Wednesday to the conviction of ex-Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, saying that the same “level of accountability and justice” must be found for all people killed by police.
The congresswoman, whose district includes Minneapolis, released a statement on Twitter, highlighting that Noor was the first police officer in Minnesota history to be convicted in an on-duty fatal shooting.
“It cannot be lost, however, that it comes in the wake of acquittals for officers who took the lives of people of color,” she said, adding: “We must have the same level of accountability and justice in all officer-involved killings and address violence-based training for police officers.”
We must have the same level of accountability and justice in all officer-involved killings. My statement on last night’s Mohamed Noor verdict: pic.twitter.com/WU9bH7e4Vq
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) May 1, 2019
On Tuesday, a jury of 10 men and two women (six of them people of color) found Noor guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the 2017 shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
On the night of the shooting, Damond had called 911 about a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her south Minneapolis home. In court, Noor testified that he shot Damond after a hearing a loud noise and seeing a woman lift her hand outside the squad car. Prosecutors disputed there was a noise and argued that Noor had no reason to shoot a 40-year-old yoga teacher in her pajamas.
In the wake of Noor’s conviction, activists said they weren’t surprised by the jury’s decision, adding that Noor’s race was a significant factor.
John Thompson, an activist and friend of Philando Castile, a black man who died in a 2016 police shooting in Falcon Heights, told The Associated Press that “Officer Noor was going to jail no matter what because he’s a black man who shot a white woman.”
The officer who shot Castile, Jeronimo Yanez, was charged with manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm but later acquitted of all charges.