The MSR hit the streets to get people’s initial reactions to the Noor verdict and sentencing and ask what this means to the Black community.
These inequities have long been the hallmark of America’s justice system and are evident at every level — from the way a person of color is portrayed in the media, to glaring sentencing and settlement disparities. “Blue Lives Matter” only applies to White police officers.
Nobody is surprised by the Noor verdict. It is stunning confirmation that, as per usual, justice is NOT meted equitably in America’s courts. It is clear there is a double standard when it comes to the value placed on White lives compared with Black lives.
— Anika Robbins, founder, Black Votes Matter MN
This is what it boils down to: Cops get a pass as long as they feel threatened. The problem in this case is that White America can understand a Black man making them feel threatened regardless if he’s unarmed, college-educated, etc. but can’t wrap their head around a pretty White girl being threatening. Add on to that the fact the cop was Black and a Muslim and he had no chance.
— Nate Haile, amateur boxing coach
The Noor conviction is a double-edged sword: on the surface, it serves as a reminder that no one is above the law; however, it also reminds Black and Brown people of the place they hold in America’s memory.
I’m not comforted by the outcome. I will still hold my breath and grip my steering wheel whenever I see red and blue lights flashing in my rear view mirror. I will still remember all the right words and actions to make the officer not see me as a threat. And, I will do all of these things because I know that the justice system works for whom it’s designed to work.
— Stephannie Lewis, director of strategic partnership
It was the right verdict. The sadness I felt was for all the justice not served for Black victims. The verdict reiterated who is viewed as worthy of justice. It also showed the isolation of being a person of color working in White spaces. Noor received no support from the “brotherhood” he was supposed to be a part of. His partner and union showed how they really felt about him. Surprising? No.
— Alex Leonard, educator, Minneapolis
I was not surprised by the verdict given our current socio-political climate in Minnesota. The judicial system has made it abundantly clear that the lives of non-melanated people are prioritized and protected with prejudice. This verdict reinforces that message.
— Felicia Perry, business resources coordinator, North Minneapolis
Not surprised the least bit. It’s the system playing Black people once again. If we stood with Noor they’d say, “See, it’s all racial, not about justice.” Even though unfair treatment both sides of the line is the bigger fight we are fighting. The truth is White police officers have gotten away with more blatant cases of unjustified shootings.
— IBé Kaba, founder, Atlantic Rock, Minneapolis
Every time a White cop kills a Black person, they get off scot-free — even with evidence indicating differently. Whereas, in this case, it’s a Black cop killing a White woman…. am I really surprised? Thus, my initial response being no — but only because I know emphatically that this country is founded upon racism, and its racist practice is how this world has been formulated and designed. So it’s only being true to itself! Bigotry, injustice and lies for all mankind.
—Zakeitheia Mearidy, social worker