He Went To Prison For Mistakenly Killing A White Woman

Minneapolis Police
Zain Murdock
September 15, 2021

In 2019, Somali-American Mohamed Noor was charged with 12 and a half years in prison for shooting a white woman, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, to death. This made Noor the “only Minnesota officer to be convicted in an on-duty shooting in recent history!”

But there’s more to this story.

Damond had called 911 herself to report sexual assault, and Noor said he shot her mistakenly because he was startled by a loud noise. His mistake adds to the long list of reasons why police don’t keep us safe – but we also have to understand that Noor was hired for an underhanded reason.

Minneapolis’ police force was overwhelmingly white. So in 2015, leaders celebrated at the initiation of a “diverse” police force. But at what cost?

“Unfortunately it’s a system that seems to work for certain people and not for everybody. And it’s something we need to live with,” said the Somali American Police Association. Yes, it’s almost certain that Noor’s conviction was racially motivated. 

But there’s also a different problem at play.

Black police officers, whether to create change from the inside, or get their own taste of vicious power, are simply disposable pawns for a system that’s meant to exploit and destabilize Black communities. The goal shouldn’t be for us to get the system to “work” for us, it should be to dismantle it overall.

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