Justine Damond Shooting Mystery, Two Missing Minutes
The officer who shot Justine Damond refuses to be interviewed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, according to its website. He legally cannot be forced to give a statement. After the release of the 911 transcript, there appears to be around 2 minutes missing…the two minutes that took the life of a 40 year old woman/bride to be.
Police are looking for a cyclist that reportedly drove by the scene and may have been a witness.
The 911 transcript of the conversation with a Minneapolis Police dispatcher at 11:27 p.m. Saturday night reads:
Operator: 911, what’s the address of the emergency?
Caller: Hi, I’m, I can hear someone out the back and I, I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped.
Operator: Give me the address.
Caller: 5024 Washburn Avenue South.
Operator: Washburn Avenue South. You said it’s behind (inaudible)?
Caller: And there’s a (inaudible) out the back, yup, yup. And I think she just yelled out “help,” but it’s difficult the sound has been going on for a while, but I think, I don’t think she’s enjoying it. I think it’s, I don’t know.
Operator: Okay, well I already got a call started and help on the way. Uh, you can’t see anything, you’re just hearing a female screaming then, is that what you’re saying?
Caller: Yeah. It sounds like sex noises, but it’s been going on for a while and I think she tried to say help and it sounds distressed.
Operator: Okay, I’ve already got an officer on the way. What is your name?
Operator: JUSTINE, what’s your last name?
Operator: And a phone number?
Operator: Okay, we’ve already got help on the way. If anything changes before we get there just give us a call right back, but officers should be there soon.
Operator: Okay, not a problem.
11:35 pm: Damond called 911 again, concerned that officers had not arrived.
Operator: 911, what is the address of the emergency?
Caller: Hi, I just reported one, but no one’s here and was wondering if they got the address wrong.
Operator: What’s the address?
Caller: 5024 Washburn Avenue South. It supposed to be Washburn Avenue South.
Operator: Are you JUSTINE?
Caller: Yeah, (inaudible).
Operator: You’re hearing a female screaming?
Caller: Yes, along behind the house.
Operator: Yup, officers are on the way there.
Caller: Thank you.
Operator: You’re welcome, bye.
At 11:39 police arrived. At 11:41 the shooting was reported. Two minutes that took the life of Justine (Ruszczyk) Damond.
According to several news reports, Officer Harrity was “stunned” when Noor shot Ms. Damond from the passenger side of the car. He agreed to give a statement to the BCA.
Noor’s family has stated that they, too, are “traumatized” over the incident. Through his attorney Thomas Plunkett, he “extends his condolences to the family and anyone else who has been touched by this event. He takes their loss seriously and keeps them in his daily thoughts and prayers.”
Investigators are reportedly pursuing the possibility that the officers were startled by a loud noise just prior to the shooting, and the Somali officer may have thought he was being ambushed. Noor supposedly had his gun on his lap rather than in his holster.
None of that is particularly suspicious, given the current climate of police officers ambushed in their vehicles. But it did lend itself to a lack of judgment before firing that weapon.
There are two active complaints against Officer Noor on his file. Because personnel matters are not public record, we are unable to learn exactly what those are or the circumstances involved. It is unknown whether his Somali background could have played a role in the shooting, or whether his experiences during the 2 years he was on the force could have led to being more jumpy that was warranted.
He has refused to give a statement to the Minnesota state bureau that is investigating the case, but is not legally required to do so. He is legally required to give one to his own department’s internal investigators. If he does not, he can be fired.