Minneapolis police officer charged in fatal shooting of Australian woman
22 March, 2018, 01:28 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
USA police officer Mohamed Noor was charged overnight with third degree murder and manslaughter over last year's shooting death of 40-year-old Damond in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The family of an unarmed Australian woman shot to death by a Minneapolis police officer responding to her 911 call says charges against the officer are "one step toward justice".
The second-degree manslaughter charge accuses him of "culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk".
Following Damond's death, Noor was placed on paid administrative leave until he was arrested on Tuesday morning, TwinCities.com reports, after turning himself in.
On the evening of July 15, 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk, who had already begun using her fiancé Don Damond's last name, called 911 twice to report a possible sexual assault taking place in the alleyway behind her Southwest Minneapolis home.
Officer Harrity allegedly then heard a muffled voice or whisper, "a thump" behind him on the squad auto and caught a glimpse of a person's head and shoulders outside the driver's side door. "Harrity checked to make sure he was not shot, then looked to his right and saw Officer Noor's right arm extended across him towards Officer Harrity's open window".
The prosecutor alleged Noor's actions went against his training.
Mr Noor'snext court appearance is set for May 8. Damond, who is white, approached the vehicle, and Noor, who was seated in the passenger seat at the time, reportedly fired his gun through the driver's side window, killing Damond. Her death sparked a national and global outcry and led to the firing of then-Police Chief Janeé Harteau, who was away on vacation at the time.
The third-degree murder charge accused Noor of committing an "eminently risky act" and showing a "depraved mind", and the second-degree manslaughter charge cited "culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk", the records showed.
At the time of the incident, neither Mr Noor or another officer present, Matthew Harrity, had their body-worn cameras activated. The murder charge is for a death caused without intent. The Minneapolis Police Department announced that, as of Tuesday, Noor no longer works for the department.
Damond's shooting ended up as global news last summer, as she was a dual citizen of the US and Australia. Something to remember next time a police officer asks you questions.
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Damond's shooting was the third high-profile police shooting in Minnesota in recent years in which a prosecutor made a charging decision rather than relying on a grand jury, a process criticized for secrecy and for the rarity of officers being charged.
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