Optics

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The Hennepin county attorney’s office has ratcheted up Muhammad Noor’s charge. Way, way up:

Prosecutors said Thursday they are seeking to charge Mohamed Noor with intentional second-degree murder in the death of Damond, who the officer shot and killed in July 2017 after the 40-year-old woman called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.

“A person acts with the intent to kill not just when they have the purpose of causing death, but also when they believe that their act, if successful, will result in death,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing. “As a trained police officer, the defendant was fully aware that such a shot would kill Ms. Ruszczyk, a result he clearly intended.”

Does that seem a little – excessive?

While the information available via the news media is most likely incomplete at best, the evidence that Officer Noor rolled up to that call intending to rub out Justin Diamond is exceedingly sketchy.

I’m going to speculate – with a certain amount of information behind the speculation – that that’s because the evidence is extremely sketchy.

There is a reason for that.

The prosecutor has to reach a “beyond a reasonable doubt” verdict to convict the former cop. Given the evidence available, that would seem to be exceedingly unlikely.

Which I am going to assume, is intentional. Overcharging the former policeman, fully intending to fail to meet the “reasonable doubt” threshold, leading to his acquittal and freedom, will accomplish the county prosecutors office’s primary mission: look “aggressive” to an angry public, but preserve the prosecutors office’s relationship with the police department.

Because make know mistake – that relationship is more important to the county prosecutor than the lives of any mere peasants.

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