Jurors Reach Verdict For Former Minneapolis Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Australian Woman
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.
NOOR VERDICT: Jurors have reached a verdict in the trial of a former U-S police officer over the death of an Austr… https://t.co/EtwSoEzx9B— Rhett Burnie (@Rhett Burnie) 1556658319.0
Minnesota statute for 3rd degree murder: https://t.co/2eRPNib3iR Jury had to find that Noor caused "the death of… https://t.co/ESwtvASelC— Brandon Stahl (@Brandon Stahl) 1556662358.0
Our second degree manslaughter statute: https://t.co/En9NRaiC3U The key clause: (1) by the person's culpable neglig… https://t.co/p9dypqHPdU— Brandon Stahl (@Brandon Stahl) 1556662627.0
Awaiting Mohamed Noor's arrival to hear the verdict. @WCCO https://t.co/GeDJg5VSy3— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff Wagner) 1556658699.0
Mohamed Noor and his attorneys arrive to hear the verdict. @WCCO https://t.co/CSSFDRpuP6— Jeff Wagner (@Jeff Wagner) 1556659006.0
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.
@RhettBurnie @abcadelaide @abcnews So five or six African-American men are killed by white cops, nothing… White wom… https://t.co/bDoXS5mhdX— Patrick Gallagher (@Patrick Gallagher) 1556668098.0
@RhettBurnie @abcadelaide @abcnews Don’t get me wrong, Justine Damond should not have been shot, and Noor def neede… https://t.co/awPOnuvjp2— Patrick Gallagher (@Patrick Gallagher) 1556679675.0
@PatrickGman @RhettBurnie @abcadelaide @abcnews It’s difficult not to think this, unfortunately.— ∞ tat tva invicta ∞ (@∞ tat tva invicta ∞) 1556668544.0
@GMony61 @RobertSandera @TasneemN Victim AND murderer had the right skin tones. If a white guy murdered her he wouldn’t have been charged.— corn husk rick ✡️ (@corn husk rick ✡️) 1556673005.0
@Jeff_Wagner4 @WCCO Sadly can’t help but wonder if the victim was black & cop was white...would this have been a different outcome?— Angel (@Angel) 1556666475.0
@lady10314 @Jeff_Wagner4 @WCCO 😢Sadly agree. Just reading different responses on “This cop” (insert adjectives) vs… https://t.co/8cQzHoBWvb— Angel (@Angel) 1556667627.0
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.
@wdiowirt Weird how they seem to get this right when the cop and victim are reversed🤔 Same thing happened to Phila… https://t.co/z6R03qZzqy— Juice (@Juice) 1556664031.0
@livingstone_tj But the killers of Tamir Rice, Michael Brown & Philandro Castile are FREE???? The Struggle is REAL✊🏾 #Resist✊🏾— Pyn The Poet (@Pyn The Poet) 1556664864.0
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.