Officer to Noor: 'Just keep to yourself, keep your mouth shut'

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor leaves the Hennepin County Government Center after the first day of trial in Minneapolis on April 1, 2019.
Evan Frost | MPR News

Prosecutors in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor are expected to continue questioning a police officer who went to the scene after Noor fatally shot 911 caller Justine Ruszczyk in July 2017.

Thursday afternoon's testimony with officer Jesse Lopez will continue on Friday. Lopez was tasked with escorting Noor's partner Matthew Harrity after the shooting. He testified that he told Harrity not to use a city-provided cellphone to call his wife, and lent him his own personal phone to use. He later was told to bring Harrity to City Hall in downtown Minneapolis and then to Stillwater, where Harrity's wife picked him up.

Thursday was also the first day that prosecutors played body camera footage for jurors and the public, including one video that showed emergency medical technicians trying to save Ruszczyk's life. Prosecutors have said they plan to introduce more body camera footage.

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor (center)
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor (center) during his trial on Wednesday.
Cedric Hohnstadt for MPR News

Lopez's body camera footage played in court Thursday showed him talking to Noor right before Lopez turned his body camera off.

"You all right, kiddo?" Lopez asked Noor. "Just keep to yourself, keep your mouth shut until you have to say anything to anybody."

He told prosecutor Amy Sweasy under questioning that he told Noor not to talk in order to protect his labor rights. Noor has declined to be interviewed by investigators, and it's not yet clear whether he'll choose to testify in his trial. He has the right not to testify.

Officer Mark Ringgenberg also testified on Thursday afternoon. He was Noor's escort immediately after the shooting. He testified that Noor kept asking every couple of minutes if Ruszczyk would be OK.

He said Noor asked what it meant when the ambulance and fire engines pulled away from the scene. Ringgenberg testified that he told Noor that the victim wasn't being transported — implying she had died — and said Noor seemed upset.

The judge told jurors to expect court to start again at 9 a.m. on Friday.

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