When three Somali Minnesotans went to trial in Minneapolis last year on terrorism charges, the New York Times skipped the proceedings. Times reporter Jack Healy arrived in town just in time for the verdicts. Healy’s article reporting the verdicts, written with freelancer Matt Furber, turned for comment to Burhan Mohumed, a “community organizer” and friend of the defendants who condemned the verdicts as “purely political.”
Judge Michael Davis presided at trial. Judge Davis had banned Mohumed from the courthouse for repeated violation of his protocols, yet Healy considered him a go-to guy on the sufficiency of the evidence to support the verdicts. “I left a little hope that they wouldn’t be convicted on a conspiracy to murder charge,” Mohumed said. “I didn’t think they had enough evidence to convict them on that. I think that was an overreach.”
Healy and Furber quoted Mohumed again in their follow-up article on community reaction—Somali community reaction, that is—to the verdict. For some reason, Healy and Furber didn’t think to ask any of us who have welcomed and supported the Somali community in the Twin Cities over the past 25 years for our take.
The Times returned to town last week to cover the shooting death of the unarmed and pajama clad spiritual healer Justine Damond by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor. Concerned about a possible sexual assault occurring near the back of her house, Ms. Damond called 911 for assistance late in the evening a week ago this past Saturday. Driving the squad car, Officer Matthew Harrity responded to the call with Noor. As Ms. Damond approached the driver’s side of the car in the alley behind her house, Noor shot her in the abdomen through the open driver’s side window. Ms. Damond died at the scene.
Officer Noor has refused to be interviewed either by the department internal affairs or by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is conducting an independent investigation of the shooting. He is resting on his right to remain silent.
Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau was on vacation at the time of the shooting and several days afterward. Upon her return to town, Harteau decried Noor’s silence and declared that Ms. Damond “didn’t need to die.”
Idiot Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges is running for reelection. On Friday Hodges fired Harteau. A left-wing cadre turned up at Hodges’s press conference to demand her resignation. In Minneapolis the lunatic left is on parade and marching the city ever further to the left.
The Times is an unlikely organ to understand or explain what is happening here. Last week the Times explored the all-important Somali community reaction to Ms. Damond’s shooting by Noor in “Somalis in Minneapolis shocked and saddened by police shooting.” The Times turned to 63-year-old Mahamud Yusuf and one other local for comments. Why? Burhan Mohumed must have been unavailable for comment.
I followed one thread in the terrorism case in the Power Line post “A tale of five Muhammads.” Perhaps I can draw on Mohamud Yusuf for something similar in this case.
The Times recalls its blinkered coverage of the terrorism case with this look back: “[S]ome Somalis here have criticized the tactics used in federal prosecutions of young men accused of trying to join overseas terrorist organizations.” Law enforcement tactics in the terrorism case, however, were lawful and appropriate. Somali criticism of them represents a serious problem within the Somali community.
The Times, incidentally, uses the common estimate that some 30,000 Somali refugees reside in Minnesota. The official estimate by the state demographer is 40,000. The unofficial estimate used by the United States Attorney for Minnesota in an agreement reached with Somali community representatives is 100,000. Whatever the number, many must be residing here illegally. Thus the Minneapolis police video linked by the Times (English version below).
Today the Times reconstructs Ms. Damond’s shooting in “In Minneapolis, Unusual Police Killing Raises an Old Outcry: Why?” The Times credits ten reporters on the story. The story mentions Noor’s possibly problematic record. Despite its length and the resources devoted to it, the story sheds almost no light on an incredibly troubling case.