Minneapolis shooting raises many questions
The tragic shooting death of the 40-year-old Justine Damond has led to public outrage. Here is a look at some of the most probing questions around the case
An American police officer acted “recklessly” last summer when he fired a shot death of an Australian woman who called 911 to report a suspected rape, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Officer Mohamed Noor, who was charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of the 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond, “it is clear … break the rules and deserves to be charged,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said at a press conference.
Noor, after an arrest warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with the case, his lawyer confirmed.
Noor is the contract of employment with the Minneapolis Police has terminated, Arrandondo said Tuesday, according to FOX 9 in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
The case is the first time that an on-duty officer in Hennpin County has been charged with murder, the station reported.
This is the first time in Hennepin County in the history that an on-duty officer is charged with the murder #JustineDamond https://t.co/DtO9YbAQ6c
— FOX 9 (@FOX9) March 21, 2018
Damond was shot July 15, minutes after calling 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her house.
The life coach’s death drew international attention, the cost of the city’s police chief her job and forced major revisions of the department’s policy of body cameras.
The criminal complaint said Noor acted “recklessly” and that there is no evidence to justify the officer’s use of deadly force.
“There is no evidence that there is in that short period of time, the Director Noor detected, measured, examined, or confirmed with a threat that the reason for the decision for the use of lethal force,” the criminal complaint said. “Instead, Director Noor recklessly and intentionally fired his gun out of the passenger seat, a place where he would be less able than the Officer Harrity to see and hear the events on the other side of the patrol car.”
Noor is facing a third degree murder charge for a death caused without intent and “for committing a very dangerous act.” He is also charged with second-degree manslaughter for “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk.”
Noor, a 32-year-old Somali-American, has not spoken publicly about the matter and declined to be interviewed by the researchers.
In a statement Tuesday, Damond family praised the charges, calling them “a step in the direction of justice.”
“No charges can bring our Justine back. However, justice demands accountability for those responsible for the reckless killing of the citizens they are sworn to protect, and the current actions reflect that,” the statement said.
“(J)ustice demands accountability for those responsible for the reckless killing of the citizens they are sworn to protect, and the current actions reflect that.”
– Statement from the family of Justine Damond
Noor’s lawyer, Thomas Plunkett, believes that his client should not have been charged.
“The facts will demonstrate that the Officer of Noor has acted as he has trained and in accordance with established departmental policy,” he said in a statement.
“The facts will demonstrate that the Officer of Noor has acted as he has trained and in accordance with established departmental policy.”
– Thomas Plunkett, attorney for the Noor Mohamed
A policeman with Noor at the time of the shooting, Matthew Harrity, told the researchers that he was startled by a loud sound right for 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 officers not turn their body cameras until after the shooting, and there was no squad camera video of the incident.
The lack of video was widely criticized, and Damond family members were among the many people who have the name for changes in the procedure, including how often officers are required to turn on their cameras.
The shooting also prompted questions about the training of the Noor, a two-year-old veteran and Somali-American whose arrival to power was celebrated by city leaders, and Minnesota’s large Somali community. Noor, 32, had trained in business and economics and worked in property management before becoming an officer.
Then-Chief Janee Harteau defended Noor the training and said that he was fit to be on the street, even if they are criticism on the shooting itself. But Harteau — who was on vacation when the shooting happened and not her first public appearance for several days after the shooting was forced out soon after by Mayor Betsy Hodges, who said she had lost confidence in the director.
Harteau replacement, Medaria Arradondo, quickly announced a change of policy whereby the officers turn on their body cameras that respond to a call or traffic stop.
Freeman the promise of last year to make a charging decision in the case end of the year, after a video surfaced that showed him complaining that the researchers had not adduced enough evidence to charge Noor.
The county attorney apologized soon after recognizing that he would not have spoken about the case in detail in public.
A grand jury was assembled on Freeman’s request for assistance in the case investigation, because he said that a number of people not working together.
Freeman stressed Tuesday that Noor, the cargo was still to decide.
If convicted of third degree murder, Noor could face a maximum of 25 years in prison, although the obvious sense is 12 ½ years. A judge would give a sentence, ranging from about 10 ½ to 15 years.
The second degree murder charges carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years in prison, but the presumptive sentence is four years.
The prison records show he is being held on $500,000 bail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.