Published: Wed, March 21, 2018
Medical | By Alyssa Little

Police officer charged with murder over Justine Damond shooting

Police officer charged with murder over Justine Damond shooting

The second-degree manslaughter charge alleges he acted with "culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk".

Mohamed Noor shot Justine Damond, a resident of the city of Minneapolis, after she called to report a possible rape in the evening hours, and approached the police auto that had arrived to investigate. "Instead, Officer Noor recklessly and intentionally fired his handgun from the passenger seat, a location at which he would have been less able than Officer Harrity to see and hear events on the other side of the squad vehicle".

"We remain hopeful that a strong case will be presented by the prosecutor, backed by verified and detailed forensic evidence, and that this will lead to a conviction". During the pendency of the investigation, Noor declined to give a statement to investigators in the incident that made headlines in this country and in Australia. When we did not receive the cooperation that we, and the citizens of Hennepin County, expect from police left us no other choice than to use the investigative powers of the grand jury and we did so.

Justine Damond, also known as Justine Ruszczyk, from Sydney, is seen in this 2015 photo released by Stephen Govel Photography in NY, on July 17, 2017.

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Mohamed Noor allegedly shot an Australian woman, Justine Damond, while he was sitting in the passenger seat of his police vehicle as the woman approached the auto seeking aid.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman filed murder and manslaughter charges Tuesday against Minneapolis police Officer Mohamed Noor. "Noor, 32, had trained in business and economics and worked in property management before becoming an officer", the Guardian added.

Ms Damond's death cost the job of the Minneapolis police chief and forced major revisions to the department's policy on body cameras.

An advocate for Minnesota's Somali and Muslim communities says he supports the charges against a Somali-American police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman last July.

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Freeman delayed his decision in December, saying his office needed more time and he did not have enough evidence to charge Noor. We all have Fifth Amendment rights, and I respect that.

A community action group called "Justice for Justine" has demanded charges against Noor in Damond's death.

- Officer Harrity said he was startled, took his gun out of its holster and held it against his rib cage and pointed it downwards. "I ask each of you to learn from the injustice in her death", said Katherine Hamberg, Fulton resident.

Damond's mother was Australian, and she spent her formative years there, but also spent some of her early childhood in the Buffalo area, said Peter Suffoletto, a cousin of Damond's father.

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The incident prompted the resignation of Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau previous year. It said Harrity was startled, perceived his life was in danger, pulled his gun and held it to his ribcage pointing downward. He pledged to strengthen efforts to rebuild the trust between the department and the public and pointed to officer de-escalation training and body camera policies as a priority. On Tuesday, Harteau posted a statement on Twitter regarding the charges against Noor.

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