Mohamed Noor was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. An attorney for Noor, who then was a Minneapolis police officer, said the shooting was justified under city training policies.
Nothing that former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor encountered or did justified his decision to kill Justine Ruszczyk Damond last July, according to charges accusing him of murder, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Noor turned himself in Tuesday. Noor, 32, shot Damond after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. The 40-year-old Australia native and life coach had approached their police vehicle that night, startling the officers, before Noor fired his handgun through the open driver’s side window. “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,” said the complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court. “Instead, Officer Noor recklessly and intentionally fired his handgun.”
Noor’s attorney disagreed. “The facts will show that Officer Noor acted as he has been trained and consistent with established departmental policy,” said attorney Tom Plunkett. Damond’s father, John Ruszcyzk, and her fiance, Don Damond, praised the charging decision. “No charges can bring our Justine back,” the family said. “However, justice demands accountability for those responsible for recklessly killing the fellow citizens they are sworn to protect, and today’s actions reflect that.” Under Minnesota law, police officers can use deadly force to protect themselves or others “from apparent death or great bodily harm.”