The Minneapolis cop who fatally shot an Australian woman during a police call was celebrated as one of the department’s few Somali-American officers, but had two open complaints and named in a recent lawsuit.
Mohamed Noor fired at Justine Damond on Saturday night while she was speaking to the officer’s partner.
Damond, who’d moved from Australia in 2015, had called police to report an assault. The incident has sparked international outrage.
Noor and his partner, identified as Matthew Harrity, hadn’t turned on their body cameras, according to reports, and have since been put on administrative leave.
Three complaints have been filed against Noor since he joined the department in 2015, two of which remain open, according to the city’s Office of Police Conduct Review. It wasn’t immediately clear what those complaints were for.
Noor was also one of three officers named in a lawsuit filed on Friday by a Minnesota woman.
On May 25, Noor was one of three officers who responded to the home of Theresa Graham, who’d called police several times that day.
Graham, whose relatives said she had mental health issues, claimed in the lawsuit police were trying to take her way as retaliation for earlier complaints.
They entered her home despite her requests for them to leave, and two officers grabbed her, according to the 14-page complaint.
Noor took Graham’s phone “from her hand and then grabbed her right wrist and upper arm, thereby immobilizing her.”
Graham claimed she pleaded to be let go, having recently suffered a shoulder injury. Noor “lessened the tightness of his grip” on her right arm, but the police sergeant holding her left arm tightened hold, the lawsuit claims.
He’d previously been praised for becoming one of the few Somali-Americans on the force.
“I want to take a moment to recognize Officer Mohamed Noor, the newest Somali officer in the Minneapolis Police Department,” Mayor Betsy Hodges wrote in a Facebook post last year. “Officer Noor has been assigned to the 5th Precinct, where his arrival has been highly celebrated, particularly by the Somali community in and around Karmel Mall.”
Noor, 31, joined the police department two years ago, having previously worked in property management in Minneapolis and St. Louis, the Star Tribune reported.
He got a degree in business administration, management and economic from Augsburg College in Minneapolis, the newspaper reported.
Noor has since hired a lawyer, Thomas Plunkett, who said in a statement that Noor moved to the U.S. at a young age and found his calling as a cop.
He is one of just nine Somali-Americans on the 840-officer police force, according to the Star Tribune.
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