MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KMSP) - Attorney Bob Bennett, an expert in police misconduct and use of force cases, is representing the family of Justine Damond Ruszczyk in their $50 million federal lawsuit against former police officer Mohamed Noor and the city of Minneapolis.
Bennett told Fox 9 the records laid out by prosecutors regarding Noor’s conduct in training and on the force make his case much, much stronger.
“Remember, the $50 million didn’t include punitive damages,” said Bennett. “And I fear that I might not have asked for enough money.”
Prosecutors detailed early psychiatric concerns about Noor’s ability to serve and handle the stress, saying, “He reported disliking people and being around them. He is likely to be asocial and socially introverted.”
His field training officers worried he didn’t want to take calls at times, adding, “while police calls were pending, the defendant drove around in circles, ignoring calls when he could have self-assigned to them.”
They also detailed what they call a prior case of excessive force by Noor which occurred just 58 days before the deadly encounter with Damond Ruszczyk in her south Minneapolis alley.
Prosecutors write Noor pulled his gun and pointed the firearm at the head of a driver who was pulled over and ultimately ticketed for failing to signal a turn.
“He demonstrated his indifference to human life and public safety by acting in a dangerous and unprofessional manner toward a citizen during a routine traffic stop,” Bennett said.
Fox 9 asked a local legal expert if a jury will get to hear the defendant’s history if the third degree murder case gets to trial.
“I would predict in the criminal case, the judge will not let the psychological records into the case,” said Joseph Daly, of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law. “Prove what happened on that evening, that when he shot that young woman. He was operating with a depraved heart. Prove that. Don’t give me that other stuff. It’s irrelevant and highly prejudicial.”