The mayor of Minneapolis wrote an open message to the city's prominent Somali community Wednesday, offering her support but making clear Mohamed Noor "won't be treated differently than any other officer."
In the Facebook post, Betsy Hodges lauded the "strength and beauty" of Minneapolis' Somali residents. The state has one of the largest Somali-American populations in the country, and many of those estimated 25,000 live in Minneapolis.
"I am grateful to be your neighbor," Hodges wrote.
Noor's hiring was celebrated
Noor has a degree in economics and business administration from Augsburg College, and worked in property management for a time. He joined the Minneapolis Police Department in 2015, and last year became the 5th Precinct’s first Somali-American police officer, a city newsletter said.
Hodges was one of the many voices congratulating Noor at the time. She called his arrival "highly celebrated, particularly by the Somali community in and around Karmel Mall."
For some Somalis in Minneapolis, Noor was their first real bridge to law enforcement, as the New York Times explains. Noor was one of them, working in a police department where there weren't many other Somalis.
Why he shot the woman, who had called police after hearing a possible sexual assault, is still unclear. Noor's partner told investigators there was a loud noise, and that Noor then shot out the driver's side window, from the passenger's seat.
Hodges: We can't turn to 'racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia'
Hodges in her open message acknowledged the shooting happened "under circumstances we don't yet comprehend," and promised Noor, "a fully trained officer in the Minneapolis Police Department, won't be treated differently than any other officer."
But she also cautioned others against judging an entire community based on one event.
"We cannot compound that tragedy by turning to racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia," she wrote. "It is unjust and ridiculous to assert that an entire community be held responsible for the actions of one person. That will not be tolerated in Minneapolis."
Here's the full Facebook post from Hodges:
Noor is on paid, standard administrative leave following the shooting.