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Somali-American police group suggests Noor charges politically, racially motivated

The group also criticized Hennepin County Mike Freeman.

A group representing Somali-American police officers says the charges against Mohamed Noor for the killing of Justine Damond could be politically and racially motivated.

The Somali-American Police Association issued a statement on Wednesday, saying it's "saddened" by the charges of 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter against "our member and Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor."

"We believe these charges are baseless and politically motivated, if not racially motivated as well," spokesman Waheid Siraach states.

The group says it believes Noor acted "in good faith" and in accordance with department policy, and accuses Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman of being "more interested in furthering his political agenda" than the "fact surrounding this case."

Related:

– 'No threat' to officer in Damond shooting, Freeman says.

– Timeline of Justine Damond's fatal shooting.

Noor was released from jail on Wednesday after posting a $400,000 bail. He is not allowed to contact his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, while on bail, and also had to surrender his passport, KSTP reports.

In his press conference on Tuesday, Freeman said there was "no evidence" that Noor encountered, appreciated, investigated or confirmed a threat before shooting Damond.

"He recklessly and intentionally fired his handgun from passenger seat with disregard for human life," Freeman said.

But the Somali-American group criticized Freeman for this story back in December, in which he spoke to activists at a Holiday event and expressed frustration that no charges had been brought against Noor.

"Trust me, nobody wants it done for Christmas more than me," he said. "That’s the big present I’d like to see under the Christmas tree."

Siraach responded: "Destroying Officer Noor’s life is no 'Christmas gift,' as Freeman suggested. The Somali-American Police Association hopes Officer Noor will be afforded a fair trial.

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