In the Damond case, still waiting

Three months ago the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension turned over its file in the July 15 shooting of Justine Damond by Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Freeman has vowed to make the prosecutorial decision himself rather than submit the case to a grand jury. We therefore await Freeman’s charging decision in this apparently outrageous case.

It’s an important case. Justice is due the friends and family of Ms. Damond, but the case is important for another reason as well. It opens one more window onto the Minneapolis kakistocracy.

When we last checked in on the story this past October, the Star Tribune had reported a story by Adam Belz on the strained relationship between former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and former Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau. Noor himself isn’t talking, but Belz reported toward the bottom of his story:

When the BCA said July 18 that Noor shot from the squad car and Damond was unarmed, Harteau said she realized the full weight of the situation, because Noor’s partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, offered no defense of the shooting. “It was clear to me that he didn’t know why this happened,” Harteau said.

That may be the most illuminating piece of information reported since the initial flurry of stories following Damond’s killing.

As we have awaited Freeman’s charging decision for too long now, several readers have written to ask what is happening. The song remains the same: we await Freeman’s charging decision.

In today’s Star Tribune, Brandon Stahl returns to the story to remind us: we await Freeman’s charging decision. Stahl doesn’t add much to the story, but he notes that Freeman’s decision should be imminent: he promised to announce his decision before the end of this year. Stahl’s story at least makes it clear that the case has not been forgotten.