I don't know the actual statistics, but it feels as though most questionable police shootings result in the officer being acquitted. As such, I was somewhat surprised (though maybe I shouldn't have been) by the latest verdict handed down in a Minneapolis officer involved shooting.
A jury found former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter and not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Noor was immediately taken into custody. His sentencing is set for Friday, June 7 at 9 a.m.
The jury of 10 men and two women deliberated for 10 hours before reaching a verdict Tuesday afternoon.
Naturally many were quick to draw distinctions between this tragedy and others, particularly the Philando Castile shooting. When a black man is the victim, there are those who will suggest that all too often an officer does not receive any jail time. However, because Ms. Damond was a white woman, some will cite this verdict as a miscarriage of justice given the verdict in the Castile case. But if one scrutinizes the evidence which was laid out in the Damond case, it's difficult to conclude that the jury's verdict was all that outlandish. And yes, I will agree that the officer involved in the shooting death of Mr. Castile in July 2016 should not have walked. But that doesn't mean the jury in Ms. Damond's case should've shirked its responsibility to examine all evidence and decide accordingly. Justice does not occur through additional injustices.
While this outcome obviously won't bring back Ms. Damond, her loved ones are taking solace in the fact that they feel justice was served. Unfortunately, the same can't necessarily be said for those Philando Castile left behind.