With the jury finalized, opening statements in the trial of former police officer Mohamed Noor, charged in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, are set to get under way Tuesday.
Opening arguments are slated for Tuesday morning, with the 33-year-old Noor facing charges of 2nd-degree intentional murder, 3rd-degree murder and manslaughter.
He was on duty, responding to Damond's 911 call reporting a possible sexual assault in the alley near her home in Fulton, Minneapolis, when he fired a shot from inside the squad car. Damond was struck and killed.
Noor has pleaded not guilty. Damond's father and family flew in from Australia for the trial, 9 News Australia reports.
The verdict will be delivered by a jury of 16 (including four alternates), chosen in recent days through court proceedings.
MPR has a rundown and brief summary of each of the jurors, but here are a few tidbits.
- Potential jurors had to fill out a 66-question, 27-page questionnaire, 9 News Australia says, touching on what TV shows they might watch and their views of Somali-Americans.
- There are 12 men and four women.
- Six of the jurors are people of color, including a Pakistani woman, an Ethiopian man, and two Filipino men, according to the Associated Press.
- The jurors' jobs include Minneapolis firefighter, an immigration officer, a software developer, a restaurant host, a gynecologist and a grocery store manager, MPR News reports.
- The Star Tribune suggests much of the entire jury selection process was about understanding each person's "implicit biases" and prejudices that may affect their ability to be impartial.
- The jurors will likely see police body cam footage from the moments after Damond was shot (the body cameras had not been activated at the time the shot was fired), including life-saving efforts by officers. But Judge Kathryn Quaintance has suggested it will not be shown to attendees or journalists, nor released to the public. Said Quaintance, per 9 News Australia: "I’m trying to protect pictures of this woman naked and her gasping for breath in the last moments of her life."
The trial could stretch into May.