Justine Damond update

Readers continue to ask about the status of the investigation into the killing of Minneapolis resident Justine Damond by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor. The case has been investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). The BCA has turned over its file to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who vowed to make the charging decision himself (rather than relegate it to a grand jury) before the end of 2017.

Last month Freeman was covertly recorded complaining about the quality of the BCA investigation. I quoted and commented at length on Freeman’s remarks at the time in “In the Damond case, Freeman says the waiting is not his fault.”

I noted last month that Freeman had sat on the BCA file for three months. Noor himself isn’t talking. I observed that Freeman could at any time have brought the case before a grand jury and compelled the testimony of Noor’s partner and any other witness except Noor. I expressed no sympathy for Freeman’s complaint and asserted that he should have brought the case to a grand jury to gather whatever evidence he needs. I concluded that Freeman’s finger-pointing was pathetic.

Now the Star Tribune reports that Freeman “is convening” a grand jury to take additional evidence in the case. Among those whose testimony Freeman is said to seek is Noor’s partner, who is the crucial eyewitness in the case. He has also subpoenaed 35-30 other police officers. The Star Tribune collects comments from a number of interested observers, but nothing to explain Freeman’s handling of the case or to mitigate the judgment I rendered last month.

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