REAL LIFE

Police officer who fatally shot Justine Damond has been charged with murder

She was gunned down in her dressing gown in 2017.
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It was the case that confused and devastated the world. In June 2017, Australian woman Justine Damond was gunned down by US police officer Mohamed Noor outside her Minneapolis home after she reported an incident to 911. She was wearing her dressing gown, and was on her way to tell the police what she’d heard. Now – finally – Noor has been charged with third degree murder.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Noor turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He has also been charged with second-degree manslaughter over Damond’s death, for alleged “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk”.

“In the short time between when Ms Damond Ruszczyk approached the squad car and the time that officer Noor fired the fatal shot, there is no evidence that officer Noor encountered a threat, appreciated a threat, investigated a threat or confirmed a threat that justified his decision to use deadly force,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told press today, the ABC reports.

“Instead officer Noor intentionally and recklessly fired his handgun from the passenger seat in disregard for human life.”

Justine’s father, John Ruszcyzk, and her fiance Don Damond have issued a joint statement today: “No charges can bring our Justine back. However, justice demands accountability for those responsible for recklessly killing the fellow citizens they are sworn to protect, and today’s actions reflect that,” it reads.

If he is convicted of third-degree murder, Noor faces a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. To date, he has never spoken publicly about the incident. 

This article originally appeared on Marie Claire.

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