More foot dragging and kicking the can.. If the investigation is complete, why delay a charging decision?

H/T Blue lives matter

 

Investigation Complete: Prosecutors To Make Charging Decision In Justine Damond Shooting

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is under fire from a police union for comments he made about the police.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is under fire from a police union for comments he made about the police.

County Attorney Angers Police Union With Public Comments

Minneapolis, Minnesota – The case involving the police officer who shot and killed Australian woman Justine Damond in July has been handed over to prosecutors for possible charges, according to the prosecutors. The decision to charge the officer will be made by the prosecutor instead of a grand jury.

Officer Mohamed Noor shot Damond on July 15 after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement Tuesday his office has received the case and “several senior prosecutors will now carefully review the case file to determine what, if any, charges might be brought.” Freeman has said he expects his decision to be made by the end of the year, the newspaper reported.

The Chicago Tribune made note of Freeman’s decision to bypass a grand jury.

“Protesters have long decried the use of grand juries in police shootings because they rarely result in officers being charged,” the Chicago Tribune claimed.

Freeman said that by making the decision to prosecute himself there would be more accountability and transparency, the newspaper reported.

Charges against Officer Noor seem extremely likely. Freeman is being presented with a homicide with no justification offered by Officer Noor, as he chooses to remain silent. It seems that Freeman will have little choice but to charge Officer Noor and we won’t hear the officer’s account of events until it’s offered by his defense at trial.

Freeman didn’t file charges against two officers involved in a November 2015 shooting of Jamar Clark. Police said Clark was trying to grab an officer’s gun when he was shot.

Damond’s shooting made national headlines.

According to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Officer Matthew Harrity, Officer Noor’s partner, said that the officers were startled by a loud sound and immediately afterwards Justine Damond approached the driver’s door. Officer Noor then shot Damond through the open driver’s window.

A police union took issue to Freeman’s response to a question at a community forum when a citizen asked him why Officer Noor wasn’t sitting in jail as a civilian would be after a deadly shooting. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Freeman said he couldn’t answer the question because he hadn’t thought about it that way.

Freeman knows, or should know, that the statement that a non-officer would be in jail is not true, because that’s not how the courts work. Even if a non-officer was arrested on scene, they would have been released if they weren’t charged.

Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said in a column that ran in the Star-Tribune that Freeman’s response was concerning.

“For Freeman to say he cannot answer this question because he has not thought about it that way is concerning, because it shows he is not familiar with the fair treatment of either police or civilians,” Kroll wrote.

“The reality is that when any investigation goes on past the first 36 to 48 hours, people are not held in jail until a charging decision is made. After that decision, all citizens are entitled to bail or release on conditions.”

Kroll was also upset that Freeman told people at the meeting that the jury was wrong when it acquitted Officer Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting of Philando Castile.

“That jury was wrong,” Freeman said while also saying Officer Yanez was a good cop who panicked, according to the newspaper.

Kroll said those comments were “simply out of place and requires an open and public apology. The law enforcement community must stand up and confront this sentiment, because it shows that Freeman has prejudged Noor’s case based on his myopic and uninformed opinion of the Yanez case. Was Freeman ever in that courtroom? Did he hear any of that evidence?”

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