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Prosecutor in Noor case entering alcohol treatment program

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman at a press conference inside the Hennepin County Government Center in March 2018. Evan Frost / MPR News

MINNEAPOLIS - Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman will be entering a treatment program for alcohol addiction.

The county’s top prosecutor, whose office won a recent conviction in the high-profile case of a Minneapolis police officer who killed an unarmed woman, issued a statement Friday saying he was evaluated for alcohol issues and agrees he needs treatment. He’ll be entering a “well-respected” program on Monday.

Freeman announced last Friday that he was taking a medical leave, citing “high stress.”

His statement this Friday said he has also worked to stabilize his “unacceptably high blood pressure.” He said he’s determined to reclaim his health and hopes to be back at work in mid-June. His top deputies will oversee the office in the meantime.

Freeman led the prosecution of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who was convicted last month of murder and manslaughter in the July 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. The dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia was shot when she approached Noor’s squad car minutes after calling 911 to report a possible rape behind her home. The case made international headlines.

Freeman, 71, has been county attorney since 2007 after also holding the office from 1991-99. He is the son of the late Orville Freeman, who was Minnesota governor and U.S. secretary of agriculture in the 1950s and ’60s.

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