In commenting on Update 38: Requiscat In Pacem, reader Roger Lake asked:
As Scott Johnson of Powerline, who was present for the entire trial, suggested, the jurors generally sympathized with Noor,. . . What do you make of that comment?
I linked, in that article, to an interview of an anonymous Noor juror, who had this to say:
I have a lot of respect for the Somali community. I’m old enough to remember the Time Magazine article in ’93 or ’94 with the starving children on the cover, so that kind of resonated. He seemed very genuine to me. I don’t think he was a bad guy. I think he was a good guy. By all accounts during the trial, it seemed like he had good training, was a good cop. And unfortunately, he just made the worst mistake he could in about two or three seconds time. I feel bad for the guy. I feel bad for his family. But we determined he committed a crime. And in the end, no one is above the law.
Scott Johnson of Powerline has a wrap up of his impressions of the case worthy of your attention:
I think it was a Minneapolis jury. It was racially and ethnically diverse. It included four immigrants. One of the jurors sported a man-bun. I think Noor’s race and immigrant status benefited him with the jury. One could see the Pakistani woman perk up and lean forward whenever the defense introduced crucial evidence. The defense nevertheless had a fundamental problem with the facts of the case.
I can only speculate, but it seems many, perhaps the majority of, Minneapolis citizens have been conditioned to think well of “the Somali community,” despite substantial evidence of crime—including substantial interest in joining ISIS and other terrorist organizations—and much of that “community” showing little interest in assimilation, and much interest in preserving the kind of tribal purity that has made Somali such a successful nation and culture. Or at the very least, in the socialist atmosphere of Minneapolis, Minnesotans feel they should publically express such sentiments.
What then accounts for this fondness for a dysfunctional, violent culture fundamentally incompatible with American sensibilities, values and our representative republic? The Left’s policies and narrative cannot possibly be wrong. They construct their own reality and do everything they can to force others to live in it, no matter how horrifically their reality fails, as it always must.
Despite this obvious sympathy for Noor, and the tendency of the Left to believe in their own infallibility, the facts of the case were an indisputable nightmare for the Defense. Defense lawyers hate the very idea of putting their clients on the stand in such cases. But in this case, they had no choice. I’ve no doubt they hoped the pro-Somali, pro-black, pro-Muslin, pro-immigrant sympathies of the jury could overcome their reason and cause them to ignore the facts and the law. It did not, thankfully, work. We don’t shoot absent a clearly identifiable deadly threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death. Noor admitted he never saw one. The Leftist narrative failed in this case, but often succeeds in others, and in the culture at large.
As I’ve suggested, the Black/Muslim/Somali/immigrant/white privilege backlash has begun, as Jim Treacher notes at PJ Media, a site for which I’ve written in the past:
In any dispute between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, the Muslim is the victim. Even if — especially if — he’s just been convicted of murder.
Or, as the Somali-American Police Associationput it:
‘Officer Noor joined the police force to make a difference and reflect the community he serves. And while historically it has not been uncommon for minority officers to receive differential treatment, it is discouraging to see this treatment persist in 2019. SAPA fears the outcome of this case will have a devastating effect on police morale and make the recruitment of minority officers all the more difficult.’
Yes, murdering an unarmed woman does tend to have a negative effect on morale.
I was unaware there was such a thing as the Somali-American Police Association, but why not? A pitch perfect representative of the Minnesota Somali/Black/Muslim/Immigrant culture is Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu West)”
Like Omar, a great many others engage in tribal thinking:
The narrative is familiar: black people, by virtue of their race, are always victims. As much as Leftists hate the police, in this case, Noor’s trifecta of race, religion, and immigrant status was higher on the virtue signaling ladder
Necessary narrative alterations are made for each case. Trayvon Martin was a budding scholar and aviator profiled, chased down and murdered in cold blood by a hulking white guy/police wannabe because he was wearing a hoodie and carrying Skittles. Michael Brown was a “gentle giant” with a bright future, profiled and mercilessly slaughtered by a racist white cop while on his knees, his hands raised in surrender, begging for his life: “hands up; don’t shoot!” And Mohamed Noor was charged and convicted only because he’s Black, Somali, Muslim, an immigrant, and Justine Damond was white.
Trayvon Martin, Saint Trayvon of Skittles: a burglar, drug user, and violent, thug wannabe as his social media presence revealed, was high on pot and casing a home in a neighborhood where many homes, including that one, had recently been burglarized. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain, happened to see him while on the way to buy groceries, and called the police. Because it was raining, night, and Martin’s hoodie obscured his face, Zimmerman initially had no idea he was black. Readers can see my complete coverage of the case via the link. Every part of the leftist narrative is a lie. The media even had to invent a new race, ’’white/Hispanic” for Zimmerman to make him white enough to fit the narrative. He wasn’t a police officer, but the Media had to falsely paint him as a sort of police officer. There was nothing at all admirable about Trayvon Martin, who was killed in a textbook act of self-defense during an unprovoked, murderous attack on Zimmerman. Race was never a factor in the case, but was imposed on it afterward.
Michael Brown, Gentle Giant: a 6’4” nearly 300 pound robber and drug user, Brown was high on pot when he robbed a convenience store. Stopped shortly thereafter by a white police officer, he attacked and brutally beat him, and died in a berserker charge on the officer. He was never on his knees, never raised his hands in surrender, and never said “don’t shoot.” Race riots, arson and massive destruction followed, and the quality of life, economy and property values of Ferguson, MO have never recovered. Prosecution was declined, and even the racialist Obama/Holder DOJ, hoping to prop up its own narrative, had to admit the officer acted in self-defense. Race was never a factor in the case, but was imposed on it afterward.
Mohamed Noor’s race, religion, national origin, and immigration had nothing whatever to do with the charges against him, and nothing to do with the verdict. Any police officer killing an innocent of any possible description as he did would—should–have been charged and convicted. The evidence was that strong. He had no justification whatever for shooting Justine Damond, whose race, and gender, had nothing to do with the case. Yet the Leftist narrative in uncompromising: all Blacks are eternal victims, and the facts don’t matter.
While the police involved conducted themselves unprofessionally at virtually every opportunity, every American should hope that charges would be filed in similar circumstances, and that the verdict would be the same. But this holds only if actual justice is the goal. If social justice is the point, Noor would not only have never been charged, but proclaimed a hero and role model, as he was from virtually the moment he became a Minneapolis police officer.
And this is a substantial part of the problem: diversity and inclusion. Police work is demanding and requires substantial specific skills, physical, intellectual and emotional. It also requires people who, when they take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and the laws of the nation, state and their specific jurisdiction, will honor that oath. It’s not about having conversations that begin and end with leftist accusations of racism. Police recruitment can never about hiring “non-traditional” police officers over competent, psychologically fit police officers.
Recent years have seen wholesale degradation in hiring qualifications for police officers. Leftists note that most police officers are white men and see evil at work. They ignore the very real and necessary qualities successful—non-dangerous—police officers must have and demand quotas of all kinds to match their narratives, policies and alternate realities. As I’ve often written, they’re also working overtime to hire police officers only just smart enough to do the job.
It appears race, religion, national origin and immigrant status was involved in the Noor case after all. If the allegations in the civil case are proved accurate, Noor was a diversity hire. Not only that, he was fast tracked through an abbreviated training program despite psychological testing indicating he was unfit for the job. The mayor and others repeatedly and effusively praised Noor as a shining example of “Somali community” success and virtue.
Testimony at the trial established that he and Officer Harrity, despite having very little experience and time on the force, were paired, even given a rifle, which in the MPD is something apparently reserved for the most capable and trusted officers. New, inexperienced officers are never paired with others like them. It’s a recipe for disaster. One would hope supervisors in the MPD are now reexamining the wisdom of their decisions–and trust–in Harrity and Noor.
Competent, professional police officers and normal Americans know diversity hiring is a disaster. They have to live and work in the real world, where there are consequences when the lazy, lame and dangerous are put in positions for which they are manifestly unqualified—people like Mohamed Noor.
Even now, the Left will continue to defend diversity hiring, because their policies can never be falsified, and their good intentions are virtuous, regardless of the results, of the damage.
Only a few hours before I posted this article, the City of Minneapolis settled with the Ruszcyk family for $20 million dollars. That’s an enormous settlement, which clearly reveals the City’s fear of a trial. They must have believed they’d have to pay far more than that. Whether any real change will be made in police procedure and city hiring practices will depend on the citizens of Minneapolis. They’re going to pay the settlement in higher taxes and reduced services. Will that cause them to realize Democrat rule is insanity, or will they remain in that alternate reality?
Justine Damond died for Leftist virtue signaling, and Mohamed Noor is now a convicted felon for the same reason.
This does not excuse Noor; he killed an innocent woman. But without diversity hiring, without Leftist rejection of reality, he would not have been in that alley that July night, and Justine Damond would be alive.
Mohamed Noor, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown will be forever remembered as social justice martyrs, their legacies lies. Normal, responsible people will remember Justine Damond as a good, kind woman, and another unnecessary and cruel casualty of social justice and Leftist virtue signaling.
Update, 050419, 1140 CST:
Scott Johnson of Powerline had this to say about race:
Minneapolis’s race hustlers are having another field day with the settlement. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey could not bring himself to contradict them or say that the size of the settlement reflected the egregious facts of the case. He could not bring himself to deny that race and ‘institutionalized racism’ in the police department had nothing to do with it. At his press conference after the guilty verdict Frey yammered on about ‘historical and ongoing racialized trauma.’
Mayor Frey would only allow that the circumstances of this case were ‘unique.’ He asserted that he could not say whether this was ‘worst [case]’ or not. If that is true, however, it is true only in a political sense. See Bob Bennett’s July 2018 evaluation of the case quoted above.
Ruszcyk attorney John Bennett, during his press conference, explained the mediation that resulted in the historic settlement was scheduled before the trial. He also said the verdict was not motivated by race, but by Justien Damond’s character and Mohamed Noor’s outrageously criminally negligent actions. He also said the MPD has “tightened up” their selection policies, which had become lax under the previous city administration and police chief. He also noted he did not “have to be nicey nice with the cops or the BCA,” and would be happy to speak with the Governor about the BCA’s conduct.
Bennet was optimistic about the possibility of necessary and meaningful reform–making the MPD a professional agency that hires based on ability and suitability rather than diversity–but Mayor Frey seems to have other ideas. Of course, one does not get to be mayor of Minneapolis without demonstrating obedience to Leftist policy.
And leftist alternate reality–viewing everything through the corrupted prism of race–lives in Minneapolis.