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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minneapolis police officer was convicted of murder Tuesday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed woman who approached his squad car minutes after calling 911 to report a possible rape behind her home.

Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder as well as manslaughter in the July 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond , a 40-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia. He wasn’t convicted of the most serious charge of intentional second-degree murder.

Noor was handcuffed and taken into custody immediately despite his attorney’s request that he be free on bond pending sentencing June 7. He showed no visible emotion, but his wife was crying.

Jurors deliberated about five hours Monday and 6½ on Tuesday before reaching a decision.

Minnesota’s third-degree murder charge means causing the death of another through a dangerous act “without regard for human life but without intent to cause” death. The presumptive sentence is about 12½ years. Second-degree manslaughter, defined as creating unreasonable risk of causing death or great bodily harm to another through culpable negligence, has a presumptive sentence of about 4½ years.

Noor and his partner were rolling down the alley behind Damond’s home and checking out the 911 call just before the shooting. Noor testified that a loud bang on the squad car scared his partner and that he saw a woman raising her arm appear at his partner’s window. He said he fired to protect his partner’s life.

Prosecutors attacked Noor for shooting without seeing a weapon or Damond’s hands. They also questioned whether the loud bang was real. Neither Noor nor his partner, Matthew Harrity, mentioned it to investigators at the scene, with Harrity first mentioning it three days later in an interview with state investigators. Noor refused to talk to investigators.

The death of Damond, a life coach who was engaged to be married a month after the shooting, sparked outrage in both the U.S. and Australia. It also cost Minneapolis’ police chief her job and contributed to the electoral defeat of the city’s mayor a few months later.

Damond was white. Noor, 33, is a Somali American who became a police officer with a mid-career switch from jobs in the business world. He testified that he became a police officer because he “wanted to serve,” and his hiring two years before the shooting was celebrated by Minneapolis leaders eager for a more diversified police force in a city with a large population of Somali immigrants.

He was fired after being charged.

Neither officer had a body camera running when Damond was shot, something Harrity blamed on what he called a vague policy that didn’t require it. Both men switched on their cameras in time to capture the aftermath, which included their attempts to save Damond with CPR. But Noor’s bullet hit her in a key abdominal artery, and a medical examiner testified she lost so much blood so quickly that even faster medical care might not have saved her.

Prosecutors sought to raise questions about the way police and state investigators handled the aftermath. They played excerpts from body cameras worn by responding officers that revealed many officers turning them on and off at will; one officer could be heard on his camera at one point telling Noor to “keep your mouth shut until you have to say anything to anybody.” They also highlighted the lack of forensic evidence proving Damond touched the squad car.

But the case still came down to jurors’ assessment of whether Noor was justified in shooting, and they had only the officers’ testimony for a picture of the key moments. During his closing argument Monday, defense attorney Thomas Plunkett told jurors all that mattered was the “precise moment” in which Noor fired his gun and that they needed to consider whether Noor acted as a reasonable officer would act in the same circumstances. Prosecutor Amy Sweasy argued the shooting was not justified.

In his only public statement about the shooting, Noor testified that after he heard the loud noise, he saw fear in Harrity’s eyes and heard his partner yell, “Oh Jesus!” as he went for his weapon. Noor said Harrity was having difficulty pulling his gun from his holster. Noor said he then saw a woman in a pink shirt with blond hair appear at Harrity’s window and raise her right arm.

“I fired one shot,” he said, later adding: “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”

Harrity was pressed by prosecutors about why he didn’t fire. He said he hadn’t evaluated whether there was a threat by the time Noor fired. When Sweasy asked Harrity whether it would have been premature for him to use deadly force, he said: “Yes, with what I had.”

Both officers testified of their trust and high regard for each other. Both cried at points during their testimony.

The jury included 10 men and two women. Six of the jurors, including the two women, are people of color.

PHOTO: AP

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10 thoughts on “Minneapolis Officer Convicted Of Murder In Woman’s Death

  1. Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Taquan Rice, etc. ALL DID NOTHING WRONG.
    They just so happened to be unfortunately PEOPLE of COLOR who were MURDERED
    by RACIST white PIGS.

    I could CARE less about that Australian b–ch who lost her life due to NOT following
    officer Noor’s instructions.

    Of course Noor was found GUILTY–how dare a Man of Color shoot and kill a cracker!!!!!!!
    The criminal justice system in this damn country needs an ENEMA–it is so full of s–t!!!!!!!!

  2. jhuf on said:

    GOOD!! this racist ass immigrant COON murdered that beautiful white woman, if he was afraid of white people he had no business being a cop

    • kmann on said:

      Stupid and ignorant JHuf.It was dark and she should have her dumb air headed ass in the house while the cops policed the area.Tamir Rice,Eric Gray,Philander Castille was killed i broad daylight.Justice should be for all people you racist prick.All many unarmed black men have been killed by police over the past century i feel bad for the lady but also for anyone killed over anxious cops.It cant be one sided.

  3. kmann on said:

    I knew they was going to find him guilty.If it had been the white cop shooting a black women they would have call her stupid for walking outside in the middle of the night while the police were looking for criminals.Philander Castille went out his way to cooperate with the police and quickly murdered him.The cop was innocent despite video and a witness.they only listen to his lie the usual”I feared for my life”which didn’t work for the black cop.

  4. Passing Through!!u on said:

    The blue racist “I feared for my life” defense dosen’t work when you’re black. Now let’s wait for the she devil who shot the brother in his own apartment to be acquitted by the 12 trump supporters in the jury box.

  5. kmann on said:

    First of when you call the police in the middle of the night you don’t walk out to the police car while they are expecting criminal activity.I knew they were going to sentenced because of who he killed.If he had killed a black woman he’d be free.The police shot Philander Castille multiple times in broad daylight when he was cooperating.

  6. Seriously…did anyone really think they would not find him guilty?!!! I don’t think any police officer involved in a shooting involving a person of color was ever fired, put on trial and convicted so quickly as this case. Oh, I guess not because they only received administrative leave…with pay.

  7. Ted Gravely on said:

    What did you expect? Let’s see if he receives 6 years like his racist colleagues or 25 to Life. My bet is on the latter. They wouldn’t dare give his chocolate arse probation, and I can promise you that no miracle of appeal is coming. This injustice system is garbage.

  8. This man murdered a woman who not only did nothing wrong, but was attempting to get the police to protect and serve, as they were once known to do. How can modern police training be so faulty that he thought firing was the correct solution? Shame on this jury for not holding him more accountable. Justine Ruszczyk Damond is dead because of a look. With that said, he’s only getting punished due to his name & the color of his skin. What a shithole country we’ve become.
    ====
    …ᴏɴʟɪɴᴇ ᴡᴏʀᴋ 𝟿𝟻 ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀs ᴇᴠᴇʀʏ ʜᴏᴜʀ. Read More

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