I’m on my way to the courthouse this morning for opening statements in the trial of Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor. In the opening statements the parties are to summarize the evidence they anticipate introducing at trial. They are not to argue their cases.
The beginning of the trial is highly anticipated. It comes nearly two years after Noor’s killing of Justine Ruszcyk (or Justine Damond, as she called herself). Justine’s fiancée, Don Damond, will certainly be one of the prosecution’s first witnesses.
Trial Judge Kathryn Quaintance has yet to file an order ruling on the motion of the Media Coalition for access to the bodycam video that will be admitted into evidence early in the case. All filings by the court and the parties are accessible on the court’s Noor trial page.
On a personal note, I have yet to hear from the court on my request for Power Line to be reassigned the seat now reserved for the New York Times. I submitted my request this past Friday during the lunch break.
If you want to follow the trial as it unfolds during the day, I recommend the tweets posted by reporters at #NoorTrial. For example, the Minnesota press has done a good job of compiling information about the 16 seated jurors. I particularly liked KARE 11 reporter Lou Raguse’s write-up on the jurors who will decide the case. The Star Tribune has also posted a story on the jurors.
We are hampered by the court’s restrictions on the use of devices in the vicinity of the courtroom where the trial is taking place. These restrictions present a marked contrast to the rules we operated under in the terrorism trial of of the three “Minnesota men” who contested the charges in federal court before Judge Michael Davis. Judge Davis is a ardent believer in the role of the press as the public’s eyes and ears in court. My respect for him has only grown in light of my experience seeking to cover the Noor case so far.