MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - The grand jury process is secretive, and it’s gradually unfolding up on the 20th floor inside the Government Center in Minneapolis.
Now, many are asking about Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman’s agenda as he continues to probe the July shooting death of Justine Damond.
“If Mike Freeman decides to charge this, he is going to do this in a way to win this. That’s why he is going to get all this testimony down,” trial attorney Mike Bryant said. Bryant is not connected to the case.
Damond, a native of Australia engaged to be married, was killed in the alley behind her Minneapolis home by officer Mohamed Noor. Damond had called 9-1-1 to report a possible sexual assault that night.
Noor and his partner Matthew Harrity responded to the scene in their squad SUV.
Harrity has told investigators he was startled by a loud noise - apparently someone slapping the back of their vehicle - when Noor fired his gun across his partner, through the open window.
Noor has refused to give a statement about what he saw and why he pulled the trigger.
“He can’t be compelled at any point up through the trial,” Bryant said. “It’s his constitutional right to not say anything.”
On Tuesday, Fox 9 spotted police union attorneys at the courthouse where at least three officers were called to testify as witnesses.
One-time department public information officer Corey Schmidt declined to confirm whether he had been subpoenaed.
Union reps have told reporters more than 30 officers have been called to testify before the grand jury in the coming days, including Harrity and many who trained and worked with Noor before the shooting.
Bryant explained that Freeman - who was caught on a hidden camera telling activists he didn’t have enough evidence to charge Noor - is looking to pin down officer statements under oath and to run his case past the jurors before making a final charging decision himself.