I covered the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor for the murder of Justine Ruszczyk over three weeks in 2019. Ms. Ruszczyk had called the police to intervene in what she thought might be an assault occurring behind her house late on the evening of July 15, 2017. Noor killed Ms. Ruszcyk when she ran up to the officer’s patrol car as it stopped at the end of the alley behind her house.
After his conviction I offered “Notes on the Noor trial.” I last reported on the case in “At the Noor sentencing (4).” Rereading it this morning brings back the emotional impact of the case on me and others I spoke with in court during the proceedings. Justine was beloved. She was a happy woman who brought happiness wherever she went. Her killing by Officer Noor is incomprehensible except insofar as Noor did not belong on the police force. (All of my reports on the trial can be accessed here.)
The case was heard by a three-judge panel including Judges Michelle Larkin, Matthew Johnson, and Louise Bjorkman. The case has been on appeal to the Minnesota Court of Appeals for a while. Today the court affirmed the conviction in a 2-1 decision (embedded below). The one dissenting judge dissented from Noor’s conviction for third-degree murder; he concurred in the court’s resolution of all the other issues raised by Noor on appeal and therefore concurred in Noor’s manslaughter conviction.
I think the three judges who heard the case are among the best in Minnesota’s appellate courts. It is to be hoped — I hope — that the Minnesota Supreme Court will refrain from further review. It has gone steeply downhill over the past ten years of Democratic appointments to the court.