Warrant: Woman slapped squad car before police shooting

This undated photo provided by Stephen Govel/www.stephengovel.com shows Justine Damond, of Sydney, Australia, who was fatally shot by police in Minneapolis on Saturday, July 15, 2017. Authorities say that officers were responding to a 911 call about a possible assault when the woman was shot. (Stephen Govel/www.stephengovel.com via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A woman approached the back of a Minneapolis police car and “slapped” it shortly before an Australian woman was shot and killed by an officer, according to a search warrant filed by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The search warrant obtained by Minnesota Public Radio doesn’t specifically say that the woman was Justine Damond, but: “Upon police arrival, a female ‘slaps’ the back of the patrol squad … After that, it is unknown to BCA agents what exactly happened, but the female became deceased in the alley.”

News of the warrant came hours after personnel records for the officer who fatally shot Damond were publicly released Monday. The records provided some detail about the training courses the officer took but no insight into his performance on the job.

The records show Officer Mohamed Noor was hired as a cadet in March 2015. In September of that year, he received a letter saying he passed his Peace Officer Licensing Examination and was eligible to become a licensed, sworn officer.

The records also show Noor took multiple training courses, including recent in-service training about active shooter situations during the Super Bowl, which will be held in Minneapolis next year. His file also says he passed all of his annual semi-automatic, handgun and shotgun qualifications, but there are no additional details about how he performed.

Noor is on paid leave after he killed Damond, a 40-year-old spiritual teacher who was engaged to be married, on July 15 after she called 911 twice to report a possible rape.

Noor, who was in the passenger seat of a squad car, shot across his partner in the driver’s seat and hit Damond. His partner told authorities that he was startled by a loud noise shortly before Damond appeared at the police vehicle.

The search warrant did not say whether the slap was the loud noise Noor’s partner described, MPR reported.

State authorities are investigating potential criminal charges. Noor also faces an internal use of force investigation.

Noor was one of several Somali-Americans hired by the department in recent years as part of the city’s public effort to diversify so it better reflects the city.

Questions about police training were raised after details about the shooting were released. Last week, then-police Chief Janee Harteau criticized Noor’s actions but defended his training, saying: “This officer completed that training very well. He was very suited to be on the street.”

Betsy Custis, right, and others attend a march in honor of Justine Damond at Beard’s Plaissance Park, Thursday, July 20, 2017, in Minneapolis. Damond, of Australia, was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer on Saturday, July 15 after calling 911 to report what she believed was a possible assault. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)

Harteau resigned Friday at the request of the mayor.

Minnesota is the only state that requires police officers to have at least a two-year degree, though many departments prefer four-year degrees. People who want to be officers either learn law enforcement degrees, or, if they have four-year degrees in other subjects like Noor, they can complete a certificate program.

Noor got a degree in economics and business administration before applying to become a police officer.

The records released Monday don’t list any awards or commendations for Noor. Records previously released show he had three complaints against him, including one that was dismissed with no discipline and two that are pending.

The records also show that Noor got a raise in September and is earning more than $28 an hour.

 

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