A jury will reconvene deliberating whether a former Minnesota officer is guilty of murder and manslaughter for the July 2017 shooting death of a dual U.S.-Australian citizen.
Ex-officer Mohamed Noor, 33, was accused of fatally shooting Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, after she called 911 about a possible sexual assault occurring behind her home. Noor was one of the officers who responded that night and his legal team has claimed Noor fired his gun to protect his frightened partner after hearing a thump on the squad car followed by a figure appearing on the driver’s side, according to Minnesota Public Radio.
Prosecutors have argued that the defense’s account was fabricated, presenting evidence that Damond never came into contact with the cruiser as her fingerprints weren’t found anywhere on it. Furthermore, they asserted that Damond—who was in pajamas at the time—wasn’t considered a threat.
“The whole blonde hair, pink T-shirt and all is a threat to you?” Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Amy Sweas reportedly asked Noor as he took the stand last week.
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Noor was fired from the force after being charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. The jury deliberated Monday without reaching a verdict and will continue their deliberations Tuesday.
CBS News reported that a second-degree murder with intent but no premeditation conviction would mean they believe the ex-officer acted with a “depraved mind”; a second-degree manslaughter conviction indicates he practiced “culpable negligence” and created an “unreasonable risk” of harm or grievous bodily injury.
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[Featured image: Mohamed Noor/AP Photo/Jim Mone; Justine Ruszczyk Damond/AP Photo/Amy Forliti, File]