Where do Minneapolis law enforcement personnel go who have, killed, maimed, violated people’s rights, lied and covered up crimes? Judging from the Mohammed Noor’s 2nd degree murder trial, they are welcomed right back into the department, no questions asked. Not only are these nefarious characters allowed to get away with their crimes, but this case has revealed that some are assigned to advise others on how to cover them up.
Ironically, the Noor trial exposes the contradictions of US jurisprudence and the incestuous relationship between the cops and prosecutors, who sometimes rely on the police to stretch, or alter the truth when seeking to convict those charged primarily with street and petty crime. Real criminality, committed by the wealthy, corporations and the State is seldom punished. Prosecutors in this case are in the strange position of relying on the cops to tell the truth.
The trial also lays bare the reality of the “Blue wall of silence,” which when examined closely makes it apparent that in actuality the cops “serve and protect” themselves and the power structure which enables them.
Coincidentally this same “den of iniquity” is now being called on to help prosecute one of their own.
However what is just as amazing is that the witnesses for the prosecution include cops who have killed unarmed citizens, committed assaults, violated people’s rights, written false police reports and lied on the witness stand. Some have already been caught in lies in this case. And a few of them were actively involved in helping Noor cover up his crime.
Incredibly, two notorious Minneapolis killer cops are serving as prosecution witnesses, including Lt Dan May, who back-shot Tycel Nelson in December of 1990 and Mark Ringgenberg along with his partner Dustin Schwarze, shot a restrained, defenseless and unarmed Jamar Clark point blank in the head, November of 2015. The two have been involved directly or indirectly in aiding Noor in his efforts to avoid revealing what occurred the night he shot and killed unarmed Justine Damond Ruszczyk, in an alley in the affluent Fulton neighborhood of Southwest Minneapolis.
Ringgenberg was one of the first on the scene to give advice to Noor. In court he testified that “I just told (Noor) not to say anything.”
Apparently, practically every officer on the scene had the same advice for Noor, ‘don’t tell anyone anything,’ in other words don’t tell the truth about the shooting. Officer Jesse Lopez admitted in court that he told Noor not to say anything and turned off his camera.
Proving that someone who will kill an unarmed, non-threatening, defenseless human being will also lie, Lt. May initially told the court that the cops were on heightened alert for ambush, but later admitted that he did not write about this threat in his report on Damond’s killing. He also admitted in court that no warnings about possible ambushes had been made earlier on the date of the killing and that no warnings had been posted on Noor’s precinct bulletin board.
The trial also revealed that even Shannon Barnett supervisor for the 5th Precinct, Noor’s precinct, turned off her camera, before having a conversation with the accused, at the scene. According to another cop on the scene, she quickly surmised that the dead victim Damond was likely “a drunk or drug addict.” Incidentally soon after the shooting, cops in an effort to advance Barnett’s theory and simultaneously impugn the victim’s character, circulated a rumor that Damond may have been addicted to the sleep aide Ambien.
Barnett and Noor were part of a federal civil lawsuit in which a woman accused them of assault and battery, negligence, violating her constitutional rights and false imprisonment. In the suit, the woman alleged that Barnett decided that since she had called the police several times to complain about other cops, that she was mentally incompetent and forcefully removed her (ironically with the help of Noor) from her home temporarily committing her to a mental health ward. Mental health professionals found her competent and released her almost immediately after admittance.
Curiously when assistant Hennepin County prosecutor Patrick Lofton asked May, “you should probably see their hands before you determine whether they’re a threat?” May responded, “Yes that’s usually the case” But May in 1990 shot Nelson in the back while he was running away from him, never asking to see his hands. According to someone near the scene at the time he heard “there goes the son of a bitch,” followed by a shotgun blast.
May pretended that Nelson aimed a gun at him. Police later claimed they found a gun in the right hand of the left handed 17 year old, hours after the shooting. Ballistics and forensics never found Tycel’s fingerprints, or his DNA on the gun.
Revealing the true nature of the Minneapolis police department, after the shooting, officers decided to confer May with a medal of valor, on two separate occasions. His fellow officers quite aware of the feelings of the community about the shooting, decided to award him initially in 1991, and years later in 2006. Both attempts were a clear provocation, sending an unmistakable message to the Black community that not only could the cops do what they want to Black people, but they will celebrate their deaths and spit on their graves.
Only after the city power structure stepped in realizing that this could damage the city’s image (read bad for business) did the cops rescind the award.
But in 2006 the cops succeeded in giving May the award and after likely chiding again by representatives of the city’s power structure, did he refuse to accept it.
Along with Ringgenberg, Schwarze and May, several other cops who have shot and killed unarmed people while carrying out their “duties” are still Minneapolis cops. And lots of others who have committed lesser offenses have gone unpunished and remain in the cabal.
Den of iniquity indeed! How else to explain the fact that complaints about Minneapolis police misconduct increased by 80 percent in 2018 to 400 compared to 2016 and 2017 when complaints barely surpassed 220? A lack of accountability explains it. Without any threat of consequences the police are free to do as they wish and often do.
What should any honest, sober minded, rational human being conclude from these revelations and this outrageous and unethical behavior?
This trial has a bad smell, most of it emanating from the amoral, unethical, fundamentally dishonest so-called “Blue wall of silence” backed by a compromised and double minded judicial system that has the task of appearing just, while remaining staunchly unfair, inequitable and unbalanced. Ironically in this case it was the demands of White Supremacy, not justice, that dictated that Mohamed Noor (Black, Somali, Muslim) be put on trial.
justice then peace