The Minneapolis Police Officer who shot and killed a woman after she called 911 for help was trained as an officer for only seven months before joining the force.
The Star Tribune reports that Mohammed Noor participated in an accelerated police training program before joining the force in 2015. The program reportedly caters to individuals with college degrees who wish to enter law enforcement, and is aimed at attracting more diverse candidates with broader life experiences to the force, according to some law enforcement sources who spoke to the newspaper.
But Noor’s abbreviated training has come under scrutiny as authorities try to explain why Noor shot and killed Justine Damond, 40, who was unarmed when she approached the police cruiser that responded to her 911 call reporting a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. The Australian native was set to marry next month.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Noor has refused to speak to investigators and secured an attorney shortly after the incident. His partner at the scene, Matthew Harrity, reportedly told investigators that the officers heard a loud bang just before Damond approached the vehicle at the driver’s side door. Noor shot Damond from the passenger seat, through the driver’s window, hitting her in the abdomen.
Despite the officer’s lifesaving efforts, Damond was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Former MPD chief Jean Harteau defended Noor’s training program, which pays officers a salary of $20/hour and benefits, last week before offering her resignation at the request of the mayor.
“We have a very robust training and hiring process,” Harteau reportedly said at a news conference. “This officer completed that training very well, just like every officer. He was very suited to be on the street.”
Neither officer at the scene of the fatal shooting had their bodycams turned on, and dashcam video did not capture the incident. Per standard procedure, both officers have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues.
Feature photo: Justine Damond/Personal website