Protesters welcome Noor conviction, call for end to racial bias in police prosecutions

On the steps of the Hennepin County Government Center, dozens of activists welcomed Tuesday’s conviction of former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor.

But in a case involving a black police officer and white victim, for many, the issue of race is hard to ignore.

“This is a case we will remember for a long time to come because Mike Freeman doesn’t prosecute police officers,” said Todd Schuman, of Justice for Justine. “We saw, in this case, that he was comfortable prosecuting a black man.”

The Hennepin County Attorney dismissed the idea that race played a role in the case, but it’s a flashpoint leading to calls that all victims of police violence be treated equally, regardless of race.

“The problems that are endemic in our society and justice system won’t be changed by this conviction,” said Leslie Redmond, of the Minneapolis NAACP. “They have to be addressed by our police force and our city officials and state officials.”

“White policemen are held to a different standard than black policemen,” said Kimberly Handy Jones.

Jones’ son Cordale was shot and killed by St. Paul Police in 2017. It was a shooting determined to be justified.

She says that Noor’s case represents the blatant bias of the police and criminal justice system.

“Believe me you, what happened to Noor was just and that’s what should happen to all of them,” Jones said.

Now, they’re strengthening their push for reforms.

“It’s time for us to stand together and value human life, human dignity,” Jones said. “It’s time for us to stand together and say enough is enough.”