We hear a great deal about “white privilege” in America these days, but the truth is that those who are said to be privileged are not, and those who claim to be marginalized are actually the elites. Anyone who doubts this should study the case of Mohamed Noor, the Somali Muslim migrant cop in Minneapolis who shot an unarmed woman, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, to death on July 15, 2017. His murder conviction was overturned last year, and now he is set to be released next week. Of course: he’s black, he’s a Muslim, he’s a migrant. As far as the Left is concerned, he’s a triple victim. Why should he stay in prison for a small thing such as killing a woman?
CBS News reported Saturday that Noor will be a free man on Monday, eighteen days short of the fifth anniversary of his killing of Damond, who was engaged to be married and called the police to report the apparent assault of a woman near her home. Noor fatally shot her when she approached his patrol car. He claimed that he had been “startled” by a loud noise, but none of the neighbors recalled hearing anything.
Damond’s father, John Ruszczyk, was appalled by the fact that Noor would soon be out on the street: “His release after a trivial sentence shows great disrespect to the wishes of the jury who represented the communities of Minneapolis and their wish to make a statement about the communities’ expectations of police behavior and actions.” Noor was initially convicted of murder, but the Minnesota Supreme Court threw out the murder conviction and resentenced him to four years and nine months on a charge of manslaughter.
Damond’s stepmother, Maryan Heffernan, made some telling observations: “We’re very disappointed. But we’re not surprised. We’ve been watching events in Minneapolis from miles away and we’re still bewildered about the charge being dropped and we’re still bewildered about the culture of the Minneapolis Police Department.”
Heffernan’s bewilderment is understandable, but the culture of the Minneapolis Police Department is readily explicable. Mohamed Noor was the first Somali Muslim on the Minneapolis police force, and the force couldn’t have been prouder of this visible manifestation of its commitment to “diversity.” In 2016, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges expressed her excitement about that fact: “I want to take a moment to recognize Officer Mohamed Noor, the newest Somali officer in the Minneapolis Police Department. Officer Noor has been assigned to the 5th Precinct, where his arrival has been highly celebrated, particularly by the Somali community in and around Karmel Mall.”
It’s important to note that Hodges wasn’t excited because Mohamed Noor was a first-class police recruit who had demonstrated that he had the skills necessary to become a fine police officer. It’s didn’t matter at all how he performed during officer training; the Minneapolis Police Department and city officials were determined that Mohamed Noor would succeed no matter what. Hodges was only excited because he represented a religious and ethnic group that she was anxious to court.
Noor graduated from a fast-track program to get onto the force in the first place. Then he proved to be an incompetent police officer: there were three complaints against him in two years. A neighbor reported: “He is extremely nervous…he is a little jumpy…he doesn’t really respect women, the least thing you say to him can set him off.” When the neighbor heard that Noor was the cop who had shot an unarmed woman, he wasn’t surprised: “When they say a policeman shot an Australian lady I thought uh oh, but then when they said who it was, I was like, ‘OK.’”
Mohamed Noor was not competent to be a police officer. If he had not been a Somali and a Muslim, he never would have been on the force at all. The lesson here is clear: identity politics kills. The city of Minneapolis was so eager to have a Somali Muslim police officer on the force that it hired a man who had been found incompetent to hold the job. Even worse, Minneapolis officials did not fire him when he proved that he was indeed unfit to be a cop.
And now, he will walk free after serving less than five years in prison for killing a woman. Amid all the hysteria and propaganda about “white supremacy,” Mohamed Noor’s story shows who has the real privilege in America today.