I have a few stray thoughts on the trial of former Minneapolis Police Mohamed Noor that I may collect in a subsequent post. For the moment, however, I would like to direct interested readers to KARE11 reporter Lou Raguse’s interview with one of the Noor jurors. Lou’s interview is posted here. If you followed the trial through my series, these comments from the juror may ring a bell:
I think the prosecution’s expert witnesses really nailed it home. Longo, with his experiences being a Baltimore cop forever. When [Peter] Wold cross-examined him and said something along the lines of, “Well how would you know? You’ve never been in that situation.” And Longo started listing off at least three or four different times he came close to using his weapon. That resonated with us a lot. At that point, when the prosecution got to its expert witnesses, to me I’m not really sure what the defense was trying to do there. Their cross-examination, in our eyes, was not really all that effective.
When the prosecution rested, the defense brought out Noor and brought out their expert [Emanuel Kapelsohn]. Watching Sweasy work on those two on cross was enlightening and painful at the same time because it almost seemed like they didn’t have a plan how to answer her questions. In my opinion, and I can’t speak for everybody in that jury room, but I felt like that case was lost [for the defense] between the two experts witnesses on the prosecution side and Noor and Emanuel Kapelsohn.
Kapelsohn always felt a little off. Trying to show photos off his cell phone in the middle of testimony was probably the most embarrassing moment of the trial. Doing crime scene recreations without showing measurements, and the whole lifting the fingers and going “bang,” doing the demonstration of Noor’s weapon and Harrity’s holster was just weird. Plus, his testimony in the other case where he was arguing against almost an identical set of facts did hurt his credibility a little bit.
Coincidentally, Lou was the reporter who noted to me the importance of Kapelsohn’s testimony in support of the officer in the Philando Castile case (which Lou also reported on). We agreed that prosecutor Amy Sweasy had “crushed” Kapelsohn in her cross-examination in this case.
One more quote from the juror addressing what I referred to as the irreducible facts of the case. This says it all:
I’ve never been able to wrap my head around what he saw or what he heard that would make him think to fire that weapon. If he had seen a cell phone in her hand and mistaken for a gun. I couldn’t necessarily say I would have acquitted him if that had happened. But it did change the dynamic for a lot of us.
Once again, Lou’s entire interview is here, and all of it is worth reading.