The Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Australian woman seemingly without cause is now facing charges over the incident.
Yesterday, Mohamed Noor (pictured above left) was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Justine Damond. The Australian citizen had called police for help about a possible sexual assault in progress near her home in Minneapolis last July.
When Noor and another officer arrived, Damond approached the car and was shot by Noor. The shooting appeared unjustified, but Noor had yet to face charges on the incident. Until now.
There has been discussion that Noor’s Muslim faith may have caused a cultural divide which caused him to act irrationally during the shooting. His family insists that his actions were correct and justified, insinuating Damond bears some responsibility.
Mohamed Noor, 32, turned himself in and was arrested for the death of Justine Damond, 40, who had called 911 about a possible sexual assault near her house, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said at a news conference announcing the charges.
“There is no evidence that Officer Noor encountered a threat, appreciated a threat, investigated a threat or confirmed a threat that justified his decision to use deadly force,” Freeman said. “Instead, Officer Noor recklessly and intentionally fired his handgun.”
After Noor shot her, Damond put her hands on the gunshot wound on the left side of her abdomen and said, “I’m dying” or “I’m dead,” Freeman said.
The shooting drew condemnation in Minnesota and Australia, where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it “shocking” and “inexplicable.” Then-Minneapolis police chief Jamee Harteau resigned after city officials said procedures had been violated and Damond “didn’t have to die.”
The third-degree murder charge accused Noor of committing an “eminently dangerous act” and showing a “depraved mind,” and the second-degree manslaughter charge cited “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk,” the records showed.
The charges mean Noor could be facing some serious jail time, and did little to help himself by refusing to cooperate with investigators looking into the shooting.
The penalty for third-degree murder is up to 25 years in prison and second-degree manslaughter carries a penalty of up to 10 years, according to a state website.
Freeman, Minneapolis’ top prosecutor, had delayed his decision in December, saying his office needed more time and that he lacked sufficient evidence to charge Noor.
Noor has been on paid leave and refused to be interviewed by Minnesota state investigators. Noor’s attorney, Tom Plunkett, said his client should not be charged.
Silence Is Consent reported on the shooting last July, outlining the outrage over Noor’s actions.
The murder took place in a back alley on W. 51st Street, between Washburn and Xerxes avenues S. in the city’s Fulton neighborhood. The woman, Justine Damond, didn’t stand a chance against such brutality and ruthless violence.
On the night of her murder, she called 911, fearing that a man had accosted someone behind her home. The police car rolled up to her house, and she walked out in her pajamas, desperate to speak with the police officers.
According to The Minneapolis Star Tribune, she walked up to the police car to speak with them about the potential crime that had been committed. Then, out of nowhere, Mohamed Noor pulled out his gun and shot her dead.
His reasoning, was that he was “spooked,” despite there being two police officers in the car, and her being in her pajamas. Many are furious, and some have outright attacked him, claiming that he’s a murderer, and a sorry excuse for a police officer.
Interestingly enough, they also report that “No weapon was found at the scene,” which sounds awfully suspicious.
Noor has not yet commented on the charges filed against him.