Mohamed Noor, a Minneapolis police officer and a person of color, awaits determination by the Hennepin County Grand Jury of his fate whether he will be charged or not charged in the July 15, 2017, shooting death of Justine Damon. According to the Minnesota state constitution, whether to indict or not indict is the purview of the grand jury, once empaneled, not the county attorney.
As such, we wonder why Hennepin County Mike Freeman has stated on three different occasions this month, as reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, that he will hear the evidence and, as overseer of all county prosecutors, will himself make the determination whether to indict or not.
This is a constitutional misinterpretation by Freeman of both his and the grand jury’s prerogatives, and a violation of Officer Noor’s constitutional rights.
Again, constitutional language, both federal and state, states that once given the case, the grand jury will then vote to indict or not to indict, not the county attorney.
All of this raises some questions:
- Why the silence of the Minnesota Supreme Court failing to remind the county attorney of his constitutional obligations of equal protection under the law?
- What was the fiancé of Justine Damond told by unauthorized individuals who presented themselves as investigators in the death of Justine Damon?
- What were the Australian parents of Justine Damon told about the American process of investigation and determination?
- What was the Australian government, and particularly Australia’s prime minister, told about the tragedy of Justine Damon’s July 15, 2017, death?
- What is the county attorney looking for with 40 witnesses, when only three others were in that alley the night Justine Damond was shot: Officer Noor, his partner, and a witness on a bicycle.
- Is there a surprising testimony anticipated by possibly two of the many witnesses before the grand journey that they had heard Officer Noor make anti-Christian and anti-White statements before that night?
- Why have so many purposefully forgotten that grand jury testimony is secret and only by court action can transcripts or testimony be asked for and reviewed?
Newspapers and other reports revealed that more than 40 individuals were being called to give testimony. Officer Noor, on counsel’s advice, has chosen to exercise his constitutional right to remain silent. This column agrees with the Police Federation’s President Bob Crow that something is not right in the way the legal process is being applied in this particular case.
We refer our readers to the three weeks following the death of Justine Damon, when so-called anonymous sources identified Officer Noor as an unqualified Black foreigner, Islamic sympathizer, and affirmative action candidate at the police academy.
These statements have also been attributed to Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and to the family of Justine Damon. These very inflammable and prejudicial statements came to them from “anonymous” sources with “first hand” knowledge of Officer Noor’s history, and of the training protocol of the Minneapolis Police Department. Thus, the possibility is high that one or more witnesses, in secret testimony, will say that Officer Noor is not a patriotic American, but rather hates and despises White Christians and White Americans.
The county attorney seems to feel that in this election year, he must satisfy his political and racial base, not his constitutional mandate to serve Lady Justice.
State and federal law make it clear that the grand jury makes the determination. Once empaneled, the grand jury is the sole authority to decide to indict or not.
Ron Edwards is an author and he hosts radio and TV shows.