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Minnesota Police officer indicted for 2017 fatal shooting of Australian yoga instructor Justine Ruszczyk Damond

March 21, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
Minnesota Police officer indicted for 2017 fatal shooting of Australian yoga instructor Justine Ruszczyk Damond Justine Ruszczyk Damond, Officer Mohamed Noor (Inset)

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Prosecutors have charged the Minnesota Police officer who fatally shot Australian native Justine Ruszczyk Damond last year with murder and manslaughter.

According to the Minnesota Tribune, authorities booked 31-year-old officer Mohamed Noor,  was indicted for third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.in connection with last July’s fatal shooting of the 40-year-old yoga instructor in Minneapolis.

Prosecutors charged Noor with third-degree murder for perpetrating an eminently dangerous act while showing a “depraved mind.”

The officer surrendered to authorities Tuesday morning and was booked into Hennepin County jail on $500,000 bond.

Investigators say Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, responded to Damond’s home after the Sydney-born yoga instructor called 911 to report a possible sexual assault taking place behind her home.

Noor was sitting in a patrol vehicle when he shot Damond in the gut as she approached the driver’s window of the police car.

The officer had said he was startled by a loud sound before opening fire and claimed to have seen a young white male bicycling toward Damond’s house immediately before the shooting.

The killing of  Justine Ruszczyk Damond sparked protests and international outrage which ultimately resulted in the firing of the city’s police chief.

Damond’s family praised the charges, calling them “one step toward justice,” in a statement Tuesday,

“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,” the statement said.

If convicted of third-degree murder, Noor could face a maximum of 25 years in prison while the second-degree manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

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