MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Only a few days after former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk last July, his decision to shoot was described as the “actions of one individual,” by then-Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau.
In a social climate where police departments are often criticized for their seemingly blind defense of their officers – this quick and vocal attempt to distance the department from Noor’s actions raised more than a few brows.
Minneapolis Police Union President Bob Kroll is now coming forward to say he believes this is a clear instance of racism.
Thursday, Kroll filed a grievance on behalf of Mohamed Noor who is currently facing third-degree murder and manslaughter charges.
“It’s an extremely unusual situation,” Kroll said to MIC during a phone interview. “I’ve never encountered anything like it before.”
According to the MIC,
“Kroll and Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said Noor is the first city officer they’re aware of to be charged with murder for killing someone in the line of duty. Both men indicated he may also be the first black officer in the city who has fatally shot a white woman.”
Other Somali-American officers have also taken note of the department’s disappointing response.
“We don’t feel that officer Noor was treated the same way as other officers were treated that were in similar situation as him,” said Waheid Siraach, spokesperson for the Somali-American Police Association.
“We believe the way this case was handled and [is] still being handled by both Minneapolis top leadership and Freeman’s office certainly raises questions of whether race played a factor in this case,” Siraach continued.
“The way in which this county attorney pursued this case is completely different because of the aggression and the ruthlessness in which he pursued and had gone after officer Noor.”
“The only difference between those shootings and this shooting is that the deceased person in this case happens to be a white woman and the officer involved in this case happens to be a black officer,” he clarified. “Not only that, he’s also a Muslim and he’s a Somali. We feel that there might be some other motivations here by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.”
The Somali-American Police Association said police officers of Somali descent “believe that at bare minimum there’s a double standard here.”
Black Lives Matter Minnesota and St. Paul chapters activist Monique Cullars-Doty agrees the unequal treatment Noor is receiving compared to white cops who kill black men, is hard to ignore.
“I do have mixed emotions about it because technically he should be able to say the same thing that every other cop out there says, which is, ‘I feared for my life,’” Cullars-Doty said. “It took a blonde- haired, blue-eyed white woman from another country for this to happen.”