The Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Australian woman in July minutes after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home was charged Tuesday with murder and manslaughter. Police Officer Mohamed Noor turned himself in Tuesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old life coach, on July 15 minutes after she called 911.
Damond’s death drew international attention, cost the police chief her job and forced major revisions to the department’s policy on body cameras.
Daily Mail UK reports:
A Minneapolis police officer who shot dead an unarmed Australian yoga teacher in her pyjamas after answering her 911 call has been charged with murder.
Officer Mohamed Noor, 32, turned himself in Tuesday morning and is held on murder and manslaughter charges for gunning down 40-year-old Justine Damond on July 15.
He shot Damond in the stomach when she approached his squad car minutes after she called police to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.
Charging documents reveal Damond said ‘I’m dead’ or ‘I’m dying’ as she clasped her stomach after being shot. She was given CPR by the officers but died at the scene.
The Daily Press reports,
Noor’s partner the night of the shooting, Matthew Harrity, told investigators that he was startled by a loud noise right before Damond approached the driver’s side window of their police SUV. Harrity, who was driving, said Noor then fired his weapon from the passenger seat. Damond died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The criminal complaint described Harrity hearing the noise and catching a glimpse of a person’s head and shoulders outside his window. It said Harrity was startled, perceived his life was in danger, pulled his gun and held it to his ribcage pointing downward.
It said Harrity then heard a sound like a lightbulb breaking, saw a flash and looked to his right to see Noor had fired his weapon.
“There is no evidence that, in that short timeframe, Officer Noor encountered, appreciated, investigated, or confirmed a threat that justified the decision to use deadly force,” the criminal complaint said. “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 car.”
The officers did not turn on their body cameras until after the shooting, and there was no squad camera video of the incident.
Noor has been on paid leave since the shooting.