Minnesota officer charged with murder in Australian woman's death


Damond was fatally shot in the abdomen minutes after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her Minneapolis home.

The death of the popular neighborhood organizer and activist triggered anger and action across the community, eventually leading to the resignation of Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau.

Minneapolis' top prosecutor Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is expected to announce the charges at a news conference at 2:30 p.m. local time in the July 2017 death of Damond, who was shot by Noor from his patrol vehicle.

"I expected him to be charged", he said.

Officer Harrity checked to see if he had been shot, the prosecutor said. Noor is charged with third-degree murder "for perpetrating an eminently unsafe act" and second-degree manslaughter for "culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk".

If he is convicted of third-degree murder, Noor faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

The jail set bail at $500,000, according to jail records.

Noor refused to speak with BCA investigators, his right under the same Fifth Amendment that protects regular citizens from self-incrimination.

Noor's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday morning. The court records accuse Noor of shooting without justification.

Chief Medaria Arrandondo said Tuesday Noor is no longer employed with the Minneapolis Police Department. Arradondo said he had delayed making an employment decision at the request of prosecutors so it wouldn't interfere with the criminal investigation.

In the call, Ruszczyk, a native of Australia known professionally as Justine Damond, told a 911 operator, "I can hear someone out the back and I, I'm not sure if she's having sex or being raped". The charges accuse Noor of third-degree murder for perpetrating an eminently unsafe act while showing a "depraved mind" without regard for human health.

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Freeman says the law prevents officers from being charged unless they are "unacceptably reckless".

The facts will show that Officer Noor acted as he has been trained and consistent with established departmental policy.

Based on all the known evidence, the conclusion that Noor would be charged seemed unavoidable.

Although Harrity was not "able to articulate" what the noise was or what the person's voice sounded, the noise "spooked" both him and Noor, enough for Harrity to take his gun out of the holster and point it downward, Freeman said.

The warrant goes on to say that Harrity did pull out his gun, but held it to his side and didn't fire.

Harrity looked out of his window to see a woman who had her hands on a gunshot wound, saying "I'm dying" or "I'm dead", according to the complaint.

"There's no evidence that, in that short timeframe, Officer Noor encountered, appreciated, investigated or confirmed a threat that justified the decision to use deadly force". Harrity, who was driving, said Noor then fired his weapon from the passenger seat and through the open window, shooting Damond.

The officers' body and vehicle cameras had not been turned on.

The lack of video was widely criticized, and Damond's family members were among the many people who called for changes in procedure, including how often officers are required to turn on their cameras. We recognize the tragic shooting of Justine Damond has greatly impacted, not only her family and friends, our membership, but also our community.

Noor has a degree in economics and business administration from Augsburg College.