July 19, 2019 | 5:48 AM IST
minneapolis

Minneapolis cop, Noor, charged with murder, manslaughter of white woman

A Minneapolis police officer acted recklessly when he fatally shot a woman who had called 911 to report a possible rape near her home, a prosecutor told jurors in the former officer's trial. Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of the ex-officer, Mohamed Noor, who fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in July 2017 as she approached his SUV, says a report.

The 33-year-old Noor is a Somali American has been charged with second-degree intentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of a 40-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia, Damond. Prosecutors said there is no evidence he faced a threat that justified deadly force and as claimed they must prove he acted unreasonably when he shot Damond.

Noor’s Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Patrick Lofton informed the jurors that Noor fired across his partner, Matthew Harrity, through an open driver's side window "without saying a word" and Noor's attorney, Peter Wold, told jurors that the fatal shooting was a "perfect storm with tragic consequences.

Damond had twice called 911 and then her fiancé, Don, but hung up when officers arrived to investigate, telling him, "OK, the police are here," Lofton said. He added that Damond was barefoot and was still in her pyjamas when she saw the cops’ approach and ran towards them before being shot in the abdomen. Her last words were, "I'm dying," Lofton said.

Damond was a life coach and was set to be married soon. Noor has refused to speak with the investigators. The officers did not turn on their body cameras until after the shooting, and there was no squad car video, said the report.

Minnesota law allows police officers to use deadly force to protect themselves or their partners from death or great bodily harm.

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