On Thursday, Officer Harrity’s lawyer described their fear of being attacked as “reasonable” given a spate of recent cop killings. Mr Noor’s gun was on his lap — and not in his holster — at the time on the incident.What?
This adds a whole new perspective to the situation. It strongly suggests that Noor was not only anticipating, but EXPECTING that he would be attacked. And it makes one wonder why his partner didn't object to his unprofessional behavior at the time. Note that the press still refers to "Officer Harrity", but "Mr Noor".
Just one more reason to question why there was no more experienced officer in the patrol car; someone who possessed the experience and judgment ... and seniority ... to suggest that Noor was over-reacting. As in: Stand Down!
But claims of an ambush yesterday infuriated Ms Damond’s family, whose newly hired high-profile lawyer told US television they “have no basis in fact” and were “ludicrous”. Lawyer Robert Bennett told CBS that Ms Damond’s family does not want Officer Noor to stay in the force and they are considering a civil lawsuit over her death. “This is an unbelievable situation,” Mr Bennett told CBS yesterday.On the Other Hand: What?
"claims of an ambush" had "no basis in fact" and were "ludicrous"?
Ms. Damond called TWICE to the police emergency phone number ... once to report a possible felony assault, and again to make sure the police were on the way. That sounds to me as if the 911 call suggested that an ambush was possible. (Which does not excuse Officer Noor's over-reaction .. he obviously did not see a gun ... were there not enough lights in that alley? Of course, a Policeman's Lot is Not A Happy One. They are sometimes required to enter dark alleys; that's why they are issued flashlights.)
In the first call at 11.27pm Saturday, she said she feared someone was being raped behind her house in south Minneapolis. Eight minutes later she called again to make sure police were coming.I can understand how the Damond Family would wish "Officer Noor" to be removed from the police force, but I don't understand how the Daily Telegraph can believe two impossible things before breakfast.
“Hi, I can hear someone out the back and I’m not sure she’s having sex or being raped,” Ms Damond said at the start of the call, at 11.35pm.
“This is an unbelievable situation,” Mr Bennett told CBS yesterday.
And that is the first believable thing I can understand about this entire tragedy.
I think there are three, perhaps four, lessons we can all take from this:
- Ms Damond, out of a keen sense of social responsibility, made the fatal mistake of entering a possible crime scene which SHE reported; she paid for that mistake (she thought someone was being raped, yet she ran into the alley while wearing her pajamas?) with her life;
- Officer Noor should never have been allowed out of the station house without an experienced (read: not gullible) keeper;
- Officers in a patrol car do not typically carry their duty weapons in their hands; unless they are being fired upon, they usually wait until they exit the patrol vehicle before drawing their duty weapon. This is called "Don't Shoot Your Buddy", aka "Rule One". Had Officer Harrity been more experienced, and/or clearly Senior, he might have tool Officer Noor to "Keep Your Pecker In Your Pants, Dude!" (Or words to that effect.) This is another of the unfortunate side-effects of the recent spate of patrol officers being murdered
- The press will print what they have, and if they have nothing to print, they will make it up. If it bleeds, it leads. The truth doesn't matter. Accuracy doesn't matter. Appropriateness doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is selling newspapers (or hits on a website, or readership, or viewer count ... it's about the numbers, Baby!)
Senior officers need to take command of their individual units; it's not enough to hold the command office, they need to actually command their subordinate officers. When a patrol officer rides with his gun in his hand, that's something that his superiors need to know about ... and stop!