One Minneapolis Cop Gets An Early Out For Killing A Civilian, While Another Will Rot Away

What a difference a few years – and perhaps race – makes.

As former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in the initial stage of a long 22-½ prison stretch for the death of former convict George Floyd, another former Minneapolis cop could be out of jail by next summer – more than seven years early – for the death of a 911 caller.

A Minnesota judge on Thursday resentenced Mohamed Noor to 57 months in prison, or just under five years, for killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017.

Noor, a black immigrant from Somalia, shot Damond, who was white, as she approached Noor’s patrol car after reporting a suspected rape.

The police were rolling slowly down an alley behind Damond’s home when the 40-year-old yoga instructor apparently banged on the patrol car to get their attention. She also approached the vehicle with one hand raised.

Noor pulled his gun and reached across his partner, who was driving, and fired a fatal shot at Damond. He claimed that he feared for their lives and that Damond, though unarmed, was a threat.

Noor was ultimately convicted of third-degree murder and sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison.

Yet the Minnesota Supreme Court recently ruled that Noor was overcharged. He should have been sentenced for second-degree manslaughter, a lesser charge.

In court Thursday, Noor’s lawyers pushed for 41 months, the minimum he could receive under the new charge.

Judge Kathryn Quaintance stood firm, however, and sided with prosecutors who demanded 57 months, the maximum Noor could receive under the Supreme Court’s guidelines.

The judge told Noor that she stuck with the new maximum because Noor had fired “across the nose” of his partner and put other people at risk.

Still, Noor, who had already served 29 months, could be eligible for supervised release next June. That’s because in Minnesota inmates who are considered well-behaved can be released under state supervision after serving two-thirds of their sentence.

In a statement, Damond’s parents condemned the Supreme Court’s decision, adding, “Our sorrow is forever, our lives will always endure an emptiness.”

Her fiancé, Don Damond, also criticized the high court. “The truth is Justine should be alive. No amount of justification, embellishment, cover-up, dishonesty or politics will ever change that truth,” he said.

In the end, a black cop who shot an innocent, unarmed white woman who had reported a crime is let out without having served less than half his sentence.

Meanwhile, Chauvin, who is white, and who did not intend to kill Floyd, who is black and a convicted criminal, and who arguably could have been dying from a fentanyl overdose as Chauvin kneeled on his back while attempting to arrest him, will likely remain in jail the whole time.

As the Associated Press explained, “After the state Supreme Court overturned Noor’s third-degree murder conviction, experts said they expected the same eventual result for Chauvin but that it would likely have little impact because Chauvin was also convicted of a more serious second-degree murder charge in Floyd’s death.”

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