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Jurors Reach Verdict For Former Minneapolis Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Australian Woman

Jurors Reach Verdict For Former Minneapolis Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Australian Woman
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images, Fox News/YouTube

The Hennepin County jury found former Minnesota police officer Mohamed Noor guilty for his on-duty fatal shooting of Justine Damond in 2017.

After 10-hours of deliberations, jurors charged Noor with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

However, the public who had been keeping a close watch on the case were shocked to discover he was acquitted of the most serious charge.

On 15 July 2017, Damond approached Noor's patrol car while he was on duty to report a possible case of rape behind her home in Minneapolis.

Noor shot and killed the 40-year-old yoga teacher because he thought he and his partner were being ambushed.

Noor, 33, was acquitted of second-degree murder with intent to kill.

The Star Tribune reported that Noor sat expressionless and one juror hung his head while the other jurors sat calmly.

The incident was scrutinized for its massive media coverage that might have resulted in a different outcome had the victim been a person of color.

Noor took the stand and told the court he saw a blonde woman in a pink T-shirt approaching the squad car with a raised arm on the night of the shooting. He claimed to have heard a loud band and misinterpreted it as an "imminent threat."

According to the BBC, Noor said his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, panicked, shouting, "Oh Jesus!" while struggling to reach for his gun and "he turned to me with fear in his eyes."

The defendant said he "had to make a split-second decision" and shot past Harrity through the passenger seat window.

Assistant Hennepin County attorneys Amy Sweasy and Patrick Lofton depicted the Minneapolis police conduct as questionable, with Noor's claim of hearing the sudden loud noise as an impulse to react and the fact that several police at the scene disabled their body cameras.

Damond's fiancé, Don Damond, urged Minneapolis leaders to implement systemic changes to the police department, according to the Tribune.

"I implore Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to do everything they can to ensure these essential human values are not just words on a car door, but are lived values of every person in a police department who need a complete transformation of policing in Minneapolis and around the country."

Mr. Damond was set to marry his fiancé a month after she was killed.