The former American police officer Mohamed Noor walks through the skyway with his attorney, Thomas Plunkett, left, on the way to the court in Minneapolis on Friday 26 April 2019. (Leila Navidi/the Star Tribune via AP)
MINNEAPOLIS – The jury that will decide the fate of Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman when they approached his patrol car was instructed Monday to weigh in on the decision judgment without the benefit of hindsight.
Mohamed Noor is on trial for murder and manslaughter in 2017, the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual citizen of the V. S. and Australia, who had called 911 to report a possible rape behind her house.
Noor testified last week that he was in the chair when he heard a loud bang on the driver’s side, then his partner, Matthew Harrity, screamed and tried to pull his gun. Noor said he saw a woman raise her arm outside Harrity window, and fired to save Harrity life.
Noor’s lawyers have argued that he was justified in the use of deadly force. Prosecutors say he acted unreasonably because he saw neither a weapon, nor Damond hands. They have also questioned whether the alleged blow to the team the car was invented.
Judge Kathyrn Quaintance told jurors that officers may use deadly force only if necessary to protect themselves or others from great bodily harm. She said judges must consider what a reasonable officer in the same situation would do so without the benefit of hindsight.
They emphasized that the jurors should consider only the facts that were known to the officer at the time of the recording.
Closing arguments were expected later Monday In the trial was the fifth week. The jury is to be sequestered once it is the case.
The death of Damond, 40, a life coach who was engaged to be married, a month after the shooting, led to outrage in the US and Australia, costs, Minneapolis’ police to her work, and has contributed to the electoral defeat of the mayor of the city a few months later.
Noor, 33, is a Somali American who was a police officer with a mid-career switch to employment in the business world. He broke more than 1½ years of silence about the shooting when he testified in his defense last week, said he was a police officer, because he “wanted to serve.”
His hiring two years before the recording was celebrated by Minneapolis leaders as a sign of a diversification of police in a city with a large population of Somali immigrants.
He was fired after he accused is.
Neither officer had a body camera running when Damond was shot, something Harrity the blame for what he called a vague policy that does not require. The department strengthened the policy after Damond death to demand that the cameras be turned on if you are responding to a call.
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Check out the AP’s complete coverage of Mohamed Noor and the trial.