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Prosecutors: Mohamed Noor pointed gun at a driver later cited for 'failure to signal'

Mohamed Noor admitted to 'disliking people and being around them' before he was brought on as a Minneapolis Police cadet.

Mohamed Noor admitted to 'disliking people and being around them' before he was brought on as a Minneapolis Police cadet. Associated Press

Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor pulled a gun on a driver and pointed it at their head not two months before he shot and killed Justine Damond, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

The prior incident was exposed in court filings Hennepin County prosecutors submitted Wednesday. Those records came in response to filings from Noor's defense attorneys, asking the judge to throw out the case because Noor had not exhibited a "depraved mind" at the time of the shooting.

Such filings are routine in criminal trials; the evidence the prosecutors turned in Wednesday is anything but.

In arguing Noor had demonstrated "acts of recklessness and indifference" while working as a cop, the county attorney's office described dashcam video of a routine stop in south Minnneapolis in May 2017. According to their account, Noor approached the vehicle he'd pulled over with his gun out, and immediately aimed it "at the driver's head."

The driver was late cited for "failure to signal," per MPR. 

In the shooting of Justine Damond (nee Ruszcyck), Noor and a partner were responding to Damond's own call to cops to report what she thought sounded like a sexual assault. As Damond approached the squad car in her south Minneapolis alleyway, Noor shot and fatally wounded her.

Michael Harrity, Noor's partner that night, told the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension he (Harrity) had been "startled by a loud sound" just as Damond was approaching the squad car.

Other court filings Wednesday look equally damaging to Noor's "state of mind." In a psychological test administered in 2015, at the time he applied to be a police officer, he admitted to "disliking people and being around them." 

A subsequent psychological evaluation found Noor lacked "major mental illness, chemical dependence or personality disorder," MPR says, and was therefore "psychiatrically fit to work as a cadet police officer."

The following year, as Noor performed his regular duties as a cadet under the supervision of a trainer, he at times seemed to refuse to answer radio calls asking for officer assistance, instead "[driving] around in circles." At other times, Noor was seen to show "tunnel vision" while driving with the squad car's lights and siren on, causing the trainer to yell in order for Noor to "snap out of it."

Noor's defense attorneys had little to say about these newly introduced facts, saying only they are "confident in our motions" to dismiss the charges. 

Noor faces one count of third-degree murder, punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine, and another of second-degree manslaughter, with a maximum punishment of 10 years and/or a $20,000 fine.