On Tuesday, the officer who mistakenly shot and killed an Australian bride-to-be was indicted on murder charges for the fatal shooting, which took place Last July. The cop is facing charges of third-degree murder along with a second charge of second-degree manslaughter in connection with Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s death, and his bail was set at $500,000.
Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was responding to a 911 call placed by Damond, a 40-year-old motivational speaker and life coach from Sydney, of a possible sexual assault in progress in the alley behind her home.
Noor and Officer Matthew Harrity, Noor’s partner, approached the address in their SUV, and Damond approached the vehicle.
Harrity was behind the wheel of the SUV and stated they were startled by a loud noise just before Damond approached the driver’s side window, which was down.
Noor, according to a report by NBC News, fired his gun from the passenger’s seat, shooting Damond.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman blames the Minneapolis police for slowing down the investigation, referring to them as “uncooperative.”
“This would have been done a good deal quicker if we had gotten cooperation,” said Freeman.
“Many officers refused to answer questions,” he stated. “We, therefore, had to subpoena them to testify before a grand jury.”
Tom Plunkett, Noor’s attorney, stated Freeman “contemplated these charges long before the grand jury investigation he directed was even commenced.”
“The facts will show that Officer Noor acted as he has been trained and consistent with established departmental policy,” said Plunkett in a statement. “Officer Noor should not have been charged with any crime.”
Damond’s family, along with her fiancé, have said they are “pleased” with the indictment.
“While we waited over eight months to come to this point, we are pleased with the way a grand jury and County Attorney Mike Freeman appear to have been diligent and thorough in investigating and ultimately determining that these charges are justified,” the family said in a statement.
According to Freeman, Noor could appear before a judge as early as Wednesday.
Noor had been on paid leave since the shooting. Originally, the case was in the hands of prosecutors but was transitioned to a grand jury after the process received criticism for being unfair based on the rarity at which police officers are ultimately charged with crimes.