A Minneapolis cop who gunned down an Australian woman in July 2017 was charged Tuesday with murder and manslaughter. Officer Mohamed Noor turned himself in on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Noor was charged with fatally shooting Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, after she called 911 to report a woman possibly being raped in the alley outside her home.
Noor and his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, told investigators that, after arriving in an alleyway, they were startled by someone approaching their patrol SUV.
Harrity said he heard a sound of a lightbulb breaking and he saw a flash, then he turned to see Noor firing his weapon.
Damond was hit once and died later at a hospital. Neither officer turned on their body cams.
Damond’s shooting sparked outrage and protests in the streets. Residents accused the police and the prosecutor’s office of bias because the officer is a minority.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the law makes it difficult to charge police officers unless they are “unacceptably reckless.”
Freeman agreed that Noor’s action was reckless. “Clearly Officer Noor violated the rules and deserves to be charged.”
“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.
Noor’s bail was set at $500,000. He faces a minimum of 12½ years in prison if convicted.