A woman approached the back of a Minneapolis police car and “slapped” it shortly before Justine Damond was shot and killed by an officer, according to a search warrant.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension search warrant, obtained by Minnesota Public Radio, doesn’t specifically say that the woman was Ms Damond.
But the warrant says: “Upon police arrival, a female ‘slaps’ the back of the patrol squad … After that, it is unknown to BCA agents what exactly happened, but the female became deceased in the alley.”
Officer Mohamed Noor is on paid leave after he killed Ms Damond, a 40-year-old spiritual teacher from Sydney’s northern beaches who was engaged to be married, on July 15 after she called 911 twice to report a possible rape.
Officer Noor, who was in the passenger seat of a squad car, shot across his partner in the driver’s seat and hit Ms Damond.
His partner told authorities that he was startled by a loud noise shortly before Ms Damond appeared at the police vehicle.
The search warrant did not say whether the slap was the loud noise Officer Noor’s partner described, MPR radio reported.
State authorities are investigating potential criminal charges. Officer Noor also faces an internal use of force investigation.
Meanwhile, Officer Noor is maintaining his wall of silence despite the pleas of Ms Damond’s family and friends to come forward.
Officer Noor’s lawyer, Thomas Plunkett, confirmed to AAP on Monday the besieged Somali-born policeman continues to exercise his legal right not to be interviewed by investigators probing Ms Damond’s death.
Nor will Officer Noor speak to the public or media about last week’s shooting.
The release of his Minneapolis Police Department records showed he passed semi-automatic, handgun, shotgun and taser qualifications and took a Super Bowl active shooter training course.
Officer Noor’s silence comes as outrage boils in Australia and Minneapolis among Ms Damond’s loved ones, the public and elected officials while the MBCA conducts its independent investigation.
“The BCA’s investigation is active and ongoing,” BCA spokesperson Jill Oliveira said.
Minneapolis and its twin city of St Paul have been shaken by several police shootings and “overuse of force”.
On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota demanded the entire police department undergo new use of force and de-escalation training.
The ACLU is also urging new police chief Medaria Arradondo to immediately “implement a new body camera policy that mandates activation at the beginning of every interaction with members of the public”.
A concerned citizen, or prankster, has erected official-looking metal signs around Minneapolis warning drivers and pedestrians: “WARNING: TWIN CITIES POLICE EASILY STARTLED.”
It features a policeman shooting a gun in each hand.
Minnesota has the largest number of Somali and East African expatriates in the US.
Somali-born Minneapolis City Council Member, Abdi Warsame, told reporters Somali-American police officers were “afraid” after community and online anger flared in response to Ms Damond’s shooting.
– with AP