Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor walks out of the the Hennepin County Government Center Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Minneapolis. Noor took the witness stand in his murder trial for the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond Thursday afternoon, breaking an almost two year public silence to testify about his upbringing and police training. (Brian Peterson/Star Tribune via AP)

Officer fled civil war as a child, resettled in Minneapolis

April 25, 2019 - 11:09 pm

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The police officer on trial in Minneapolis for fatally shooting an unarmed woman fled Somalia's civil war as a child.

Mohamed Noor testified Thursday that he followed a well-worn path with his family to a refugee camp in Kenya. Then they came to the U.S. and eventually settled in Minnesota. He carved out a life in business and later spotted an online ad recruiting police officers.

Noor's testimony broke more than 18 months of silence since the shooting in July 2017.

His hiring in 2015 was welcomed by city leaders seeking to diversify the police force. He was fired after being charged in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. She called 911 to report a possible crime near her home and was shot as she approached his squad car.

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