A verdict has finally been reached for the former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor who killed an unarmed Australian woman named Justine Damond in July of 2017. The officer was found guilty of third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. It is extremely rare for an officer to be found guilty of third degree murder, which means he had a “depraved mind.”
Noor has reportedly been taken into custody and sentencing will be June 7. He is the first police officer in Minnesota to be convicted of an on-duty shooting.
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The 33-year-old Somali-American spoke out for the first time during the trial last week, using the same defense many cops who shot and killed unarmed people have used — he was in fear for him and his partner, Matthew Harrity.
Noor said he saw a woman in a pink shirt with blond hair outside of his partner’s window, prompting him to yell, “Oh Jesus!” Noor claimed the woman raised her right arm. “I fired one shot,” he said before adding, “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”
He said he immediately realized he had shot an innocent woman.
“I felt like my whole world came crashing down. I couldn’t breathe,” explained Noor who cried on the stand.
Noor also explained his “counter-ambush” training, which is a mock scenario where two officers are in a squad car and an instructor yells “Threat!” The officers make a quick decision about whether to shoot.
“Action is better than reaction,” Noor insisted. “If you’re reacting, that means it’s too late … to protect yourself. … You die.”
The Associated Press reported that the prosecution “pounced on that during her cross-examination, asking Noor if he believed ‘concern’ was enough to fire his weapon. Noor said it was when looking at all the circumstances and to protect himself and Harrity from death or great bodily harm. [Prosecutor Amy] Sweasy also attacked Noor for making a quick decision without being able to see Damond’s hands, or whether she was carrying a weapon or a cellphone.”
Noor became a police officer in 2016.
On the evening of July 15, 2017, around 11:30 p.m., Damond, 40, called 911 to report a possible assault near her house. Harrity and Noor were the officers who arrived on the scene.
The officer’s body cameras weren’t on and there isn’t a video of the shooting.
Noor is facing over 30 years in prison.
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