Officer charged in death of Justine Damond

Minneapolis

The charges against officer Mohamed Noor are third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Noor and his partner Matthew Harrity reportedly gave Damond CPR before backup arrived, but she was pronounced dead on the scene.

Noor handed himself in to police on March 20 and was remanded in jail on a bail of $US500,000. His bail is set at $500,000.

Mohamed Noor is charged with fatally shooting the 40-year-old after she called the police to report a possible sexual assault behind her home in Minnesota in July.

As they waited, Mr Harrity said he heard a whispered voice and a thump somewhere on the back of the auto.

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Mr Freeman said Noor reached across Officer Harrity and shot Ms Damond.

"While we have waited more than 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", Damond's fiance Don and her Sydney-based father John Ruszczyk and other family members said in a joint statement. A grand jury indictment was sealed until the officer's arrest, said Freeman.

The prosecution briefly made note of a friend of Noor who offered previous year to shelter him or provide him with housing, arguing Noor may be a flight risk.

"Ms Damond Ruszczyk put her hands on the wound on her left side and said 'I'm dying, ' or 'I'm dead, '" Freeman said.

In detailing the charges against Noor, Freeman emphasized the extensive training the officer and his partner received in handling high-stress situations and making life and death decisions.

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Damond's neighbor Sarah Kuhnen said in a statement that neighbors were "relieved" Noor was being prosecuted. But Freeman convened a grand jury to help him investigate because, he said, several officers weren't cooperating.

A supporter of Mr Noor outside court said he was "just doing what he was trained to do" and she didn't "think he was treated fairly".

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman was scheduled to discuss charges in the case at a 2:30 p.m. news conference. Her death sparked a national and global outcry and led to the firing of then-Police Chief Janeé Harteau, who was away on vacation at the time.

Noor faces third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. The charges accuse Noor of third-degree murder for perpetrating an eminently unsafe act while showing a "depraved mind" without regard for human health.

"In the short time between when Ms. Damond Ruszczyk approached the squad auto and the time that he 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 the decision to use deadly force", Freeman said. She says she's seen some improvements in the city's police department prompted by Ruszczyk's death, including a new chief and new body camera rules. "As a result, the contract between the police and the citizens of Minneapolis is broken". Even though he had previously said he would no longer go through secret grand juries to charge police with crimes because he wanted to improve transparency over the process, he said he had no choice this time because police refused to talk.

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The shooting also raised concerns among the Midwestern city's Somali American community, with worries about a possible backlash.

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