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‘Poses Real Problems’: Ex Minneapolis Cop Has Murder Conviction Reversed and Sentencing Reduced; New Precedence Draws Concern as Derek Chauvin Seeks to Appeal His Conviction

Minneapolis’ first cop to be convicted of murder may regain his freedom sooner than anticipated. 

In an unprecedented turn of events, a Minnesota judge re-sentenced former cop Mohamed Noor to five years in prison for manslaughter. Noor has already served 29 months behind bars, making him eligible for early release, contingent upon good behavior, as soon as June 2022. 

Mohamed Noor (L) and Derek Chauvin (R) are both disgraced Minneapolis officers convicted of murders. (Photos: Hennepin County Sheriffs Department)

In June 2019, Noor was originally charged and sentenced for third-degree murder and third- degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of 911 caller Justine Ruszcyk Damond — an Australian-American citizen who called authorities in July 2017 to report what she believed to be a possible rape occurring near her residence.

When Noor and his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, arrived on the scene, Damond ran to the patrol car for help. A startled Noor responded by shooting past his partner and fatally wounding the 40-year-old in the abdomen. When he was sentenced, the presiding judge said he showed a generalized “indifference to human life.”

But in September of this year the Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed the manslaughter ruling that would have removed Noor from society for a minimum of eight years and a maximum of 12.5 years. 

The overturned conviction draws questions of what could happen to fellow disgraced Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, who was convicted in April in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, a Black man.

“Chauvin will likely have his decision reversed because it is legally incompatible to say that someone is guilty of intentionally doing something and at the same time they’re guilty of unintentionally doing something,” said criminal defense attorney Andrew Wilson to VICE News. 

Chauvin, a white cop, was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal arrest of Floyd. He was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. While the former cop plans to appeal his conviction, Wilson does not foresee a similar outcome to that of Noor. 

“I don’t think it’s going to result in a reduction of his sentence,” Wilson said. “But I do think it poses real problems for that conviction to stand against him. So on appeal, they might get a reversal of that conviction.”

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