By John Dempsey
In the last few years, politics have seeped into law enforcement and affected how officers do their jobs. The invention of identity politics has made gender, race, social status, and ethnicity into political talking points. This may be fine within the realm of pure politics but there are some places identity politics does not belong: national political ideology has little place in law enforcement, especially in hiring.
In 2016, the Minneapolis Police Department hired Mohamed Noor, who was praised and touted as the department’s first Somali Muslim police officer. But there was one problem: Noor was unfit for the job, and his employers knew it.
In 2017, Noor and his partner answered a call made by a citizen who witnessed an assault behind her home. Upon their arrival at the scene, the caller, Justine Damond, an Australian immigrant, walked up to the driver side window of the patrol car and began speaking with the officers. Noor was sitting in the passenger seat. It is unknown why his gun was out of the holster while meeting with the complainant of the call, but he shot her once in the abdomen, killing her. Noor was subsequently charged with manslaughter the following year.
Not Cop Material
Law enforcement has a rigorous hiring process that includes polygraph tests and psychological examinations by professional psychiatrists.
Psychological records from Noor’s pre-screen hiring process became available recently. Two different psychiatrists stated that it seemed Noor would be unable to handle the stress of police work and that he even exhibited his disdain for dealing with people, but that was not going to stop city officials from hiring Noor and placing him on a fast track program to be put on patrol. Diversity cannot stop, right?
Noor was one of the 40,000 Somalis brought into the country by our Federal Government as refugees due to a civil war in their home country. Minneapolis now has the largest Somali population in the United States, with one area nicknamed “Little Mogadishu.” The population of Somalis boomed to the point where the city felt the need to push identity politics into the police department.
Politics in Policing
Soon after hiring Noor, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges posted on her Facebook page that she wanted to “recognize Officer Mohamed Noor, the newest Somali officer in the Minneapolis Police Department.”
So what? He is Somali. Does that mean he will be a better police officer and bring a higher standard of service to citizens than American officers? Police agencies have policies against bias-based profiling of citizens based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and so on. The same standard should apply when hiring officers. As long as an applicant passes all the required standards, they get considered for employment. The next time a white officer is employed will they be given the same type of Facebook message from Hodges?
Hodges put Noor on a pedestal based on his nationality, thanks to her leftist ideology. Despite two psychiatrists’ concerns, Noor was hired based on his country of origin and religion, nothing else. In search of a diverse police department so that she could benefit politically, Hodges ignored the warning signs and hired him.
Police Chief Janee Harteau is responsible as well. All chiefs and sheriffs are required to review hiring pamphlets to ensure the vetting of new employees. The City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Police Department failed their citizens when the MPD implemented hiring practices based on politics, nationality, and religious beliefs. This incident casts mistrust on the city and police department, not because they employed a Somali Muslim, but because they hired a man who was nervous, psychologically inept, hated people and who was not made for law enforcement.
Hodges’ political fixation on ethnic diversity led to an unwarranted death. Who will be the next victim of this reckless disregard for competence?