MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Wednesday was yet another day of jury selection in the Mohamed Noor trial filled with emotion and tension in the 19th floor courtroom.
Many of the jurors were asked what they know about the shooting death of Justine Rusyzck Damond and whether they can check any strong opinions at the courthouse door and decide this murder and manslaughter case on its merits.
There are various reasons the jurors were dismissed, including some that claimed financial hardship and others that admitted they couldn’t be impartial.
The court is keeping the identities of the jurors anonymous, giving them numbers instead.
Juror #40, for instance, is a white female on the younger side who is in to yoga and spiritual health. She said she could relate to Damond, the victim in this case.
She conceded under intense questioning from the defense that she might not be able to be impartial and that it would be “hard to presume” that Noor was innocent from the start.
She was sent home as the judge scolded Noor’s attorney Tom Plunkett for what she deemed intimidating questioning.
Then, there was juror #54, who is an older African-American woman and a retired school teacher. She asked rhetorically in court why police have to shoot to kill and why they don’t aim for knees or shoulders instead.
She also had concerns about her health during a trial that may last a month or more. She too was dismissed from the jury pool.
Another juror, #15, said he was a private person and worried that, if selected, his name might become public and he just didn’t want that.
The judge reassured him that his identity would remain sealed well beyond the end of this trial.
One interesting prospective juror that remains in the pool is a Minneapolis Firefighter and local paramedic who knows several prosecution witnesses personally.
The judge mused after the man left the courtroom that he could be a good juror for the case because he was a thoughtful young man in this 20s, but added that it’s always a risk.
Both sides are working methodically through this original pool of 75 prospective jurors. Juror questioning continues at the Hennepin County Courthouse tomorrow morning.