Killer Cops and Racist Hate Crimes

A reflection on separate and unequal responses.

Within days of causing the death of African American George Floyd by holding a knee to his neck, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. If convicted, Chauvin faces 12 years in prison, the same sentence drawn by another deadly Minneapolis cop.

In 2017,  Mohamed Noor, a Somali-born Muslim (pictured above) and his partner Matthew Harrity, responded to a 911 call from Australian woman Justine Damond. The officers’ body cams were turned off so there was no video of Mohamed Noor gunning down Damond as she approached the police car.

According to the medical examiner, Noor’s bullet struck an abdominal artery and the 40-year-old woman, who was to be married within a month, lost so much blood that prompt medical attention might not have saved her. Police officer Mohamed Noor refused to speak with state investigators.

As prosecutors noted, no forensic evidence proved that Damond even touched the squad car, as the shooter Mohamed Noor claimed. The officer, 33, had been a prize police recruit, celebrated as an example of diversity. After charges were filed, Noor lost his job but the local police association supported him.

Six of the 12  jurors, including the two women, were “people of color.” They took less then 12 hours to find Noor guilty. Damond’s family was satisfied with the verdict, but not Noor’s cousin Goth Ali told reporters “What happened was injustice. This is shocking. My cousin didn’t get a fair trial.” The Somali-American Police Association (SAPA) felt likewise.

Officer Noor was “the first police officer in Minnesota’s history to be convicted of murder while in the line of duty,” SAPA said in a statement. “The institutional prejudices against people of color, including officers of color, have heavily influenced the verdict of this case. The aggressive manner in which the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office went after Officer Noor reveals that there were other motives at play other than serving justice.” CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson echoed that contention.

Mohamed Noor “fired upon the perceived threat in order to protect his life and that of his vulnerable partner, who was a sitting duck in the driver's seat.” The prosecutor wondered about the threat posed by an unarmed, pink-clad blond woman, which prompted Jackson to wonder, “did the race of the officer and the victim play a role in the outcome?”

For Jackson, the sentence of 12 ½ years was “outrageous and disturbing” and significant for another reason. The shooting occurred “in the district of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, the first nonwhite woman from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.”

According to Jackson, Minneapolis police procedures were “were re-evaluated and revamped – as was officer training.” The reforms were not enough to remove bad cops such as Derek Chauvin, whose killing of George Floyd was captured on video. Unlike the Noor case, nobody defended Chauvin, who was promptly charged with murder and manslaughter. Even so, riots raged across the country, allegedly about George Floyd but proclaiming the true guilty party as “the system,” code for the entire country.   

The rioters are an axis of Antifa thugs, common criminals and mobs such as Black Lives Matter, which contends that in evil America, cops are actively “hunting” African Americans. Evidence for that is hard to find, but a recent case confirms that some African Americans are in fact hunting and killing people based solely on their race.

In April of 2017 in Fresno, California, Kori Ali Muhammed, determined to “kill as many white men” as he could, and duly gunned down Carl Williams, 25, Zackary David Randalls, 34, Mark James Gassett, 37, and David Martin Jackson, 58. Ali Muhammed shot Mark Gassett as he emerged from a Catholic charities building, and shot the victim again as he fell to the ground. Ali Muhammad shot “white dude” Zachary Randalls as he sat in a truck, calmly reloading his .357 magnum revolver after each killing.

Ali Muhammed selected victims solely because of their skin shade. Fresno police quickly identified the shooter from surveillance video but waited five days before naming him as a suspect. The killings were executed with the same means and motive, but Ali Muhammed was charged with three counts of second-degree murder and only one count of first-degree murder.

In court Ali Muhammed proclaimed “Allahu Akbar” and raised his right fist. He told the court he intended to kill the victims, adding, “God is going to destroy white men in particular, specifically.” The murder conviction in April failed to prompt a statement from California attorney general Xavier Becerra or Gov. Gavin Newsom. Politicians did not decry the multiple murders as a racist hate crime or even “gun violence.”

The case drew little coverage on national television and the guilty verdict prompted no violent protests. Convicted murderer Kori Ali Muhammed faces life in prison but at this writing has yet to be sentenced.

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