A forty-year-old Australian woman named Justine Damond called 911 in Minneapolis Saturday night to report what she thought might be a rape; when police arrived, she approached the police car, and a Minneapolis police officer named Mohamed Noor shot her dead. Since then, Noor has refused to be interviewed by investigators, but has spoken to friends about what happened and why. The more Noor and those who know him have spoken, the more it becomes clear: Justine Damond was a casualty of “Islamophobia.”
Mohamed Noor is a Somali Muslim. He was the first Somali Muslim on the Minneapolis police force. In 2016, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges expressed her excitement about that fact: “I want to take a moment to recognize Officer Mohamed Noor, the newest Somali officer in the Minneapolis Police Department. 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.”
Hodges wasn’t excited because Mohamed Noor had the skills necessary to become a fine police officer. She was only excited because he represented a religious and ethnic that she was anxious to court. And it is increasingly clear, as we learn about Mohamed Noor’s nervousness and jumpiness and lack of respect for women, and from his own account of events that he relayed to friends (that he was “startled” and reacted by opening fire), that Mohamed Noor was not cut out to be a policeman. He did not have the temperament for it, and if he hadn’t killed Justine Damond, he would likely have done something similar at some point.
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