Authorities mull charges against cop in death of Justine Damond
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has wrapped up its investigation into the officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of an Australian bride-to-be.
In a statement Tuesday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman confirmed that his office received the case and “several senior prosecutors will now carefully review the case file to determine, what if any charges might be brought.”
Justine Damond — who had already been going by her fiancee’s last name at the time of the incident — was fatally shot July 15 by police officer Mohamed Noor, who had been responding to a 911 call placed by the 40-year-old life coach regarding a possible sexual assault behind her home.
Noor’s partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, previously told detectives both he and Noor were startled by a loud noise when Damond approached their police cruiser — and that’s when the officer reached across Harrity and shot the Australian native through the driver’s side window.
Both Noor and his partner are on paid administrative leave.
Justine Damond was fatally shot after calling authorities about an alleged assault occurring behind her home.
( Instagram )
Freeman said Sunday during a forum with neighborhood residents that the fatal shooting did not have to happen, according to the Star Tribune.
“I’m saddened by the death of this fine young woman. It didn’t have to happen. It shouldn’t have happened,” Freeman told the 50 or so people in attendance. He added his job was to determine if there was enough admissible evidence to warrant criminal charges.
Freeman also told the newspaper he’ll be the one deciding whether charges will be filed, a task typically handled by a grand jury. He said Sunday he expects to decide on the matter by the end of the year.
He added his office typically requests further investigation from the state agency before making its final decision.
In this May 2016 image provided by the City of Minneapolis, police officer Mohamed Noor poses for a photo at a community event welcoming him to the Minneapolis police force.
In a separate high-profile shooting, Freeman declined to charge the pair of officers involved in the November 2015 death of Jamar Clark.
Damond’s fiancee, Don Damond, declined to comment outside the statement he released following the BCA announcement.
“The BCA has concluded its investigation, but the wait continues for Justine’s family and me,” he said. “We want to see justice for Justine, and hope that the Hennepin County Attorney will act swiftly to review the findings and determine charges.”
With News Wire Services