Getting Away with Murder

Yesterday Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that Officer Noor will be getting away with murder:

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has convened a grand jury to compel testimony and gather evidence in the July 2017 officer involved shooting death of Justine Damond.

For those wondering why I’m so sure Officer Noor won’t be charged it’s because grand juries have an extremely strong tendency to side with officers and that’s because grand juries are designed to intimidate jurors into siding with officers. Grand juries are usually just officious rituals tacked onto the act of dismissing charges against an officer.

Another point of interest in this decision is that it goes against one of Freeman’s previously made promise:

In recent years, Freeman has said he would no longer use grand juries to decide whether officers would be charged in police shootings, saying he would make those decisions himself to provide more accountability and transparency.

I understand that Freeman is caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand he’s an employee of Hennepin County. As a government employee he has a conflict of interest. Officer Noor, like himself, is also a government employee and government employees are supposed to have each other’s backs. But if Freeman just declared Noor innocent there would likely be civil unrest. By reneging on his promise he can effectively let Noor off while claiming he did the best that he could but the decision was in the hands of a grand jury.

Welcome to the United States of America, the freest country on Earth… if you have a badge.