Minneapolis officer charged in shooting of Australian woman

Published 8:03 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed Australian woman in July minutes after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home was charged Tuesday with murder and manslaughter.

Officer Mohamed Noor turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old life coach, on July 15.

Damond’s death drew international attention, cost the police chief her job and forced major revisions to the department’s policy on body cameras.

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Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the law makes it difficult to charge police officers unless they are “unacceptably reckless.” He said, “I agree with that.”

But he added: “Clearly Officer Noor violated the rules and deserves to be charged.”

Noor is charged with third-degree murder “for perpetrating an eminently dangerous act” and second-degree manslaughter for “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk.”

Conviction on the first charge carries a presumptive sentence of 12 ½ years; the second, four years.