Justine Damond's Family 'Satisfied' With Guilty Murder Verdict
The police officer who shot dead Australian woman Justine Damond Ruszczyk has been found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, guilty of third-degree murder and not guilty of second-degree murder.
The jury came to their decision quickly, deliberating for just over 24 hours.
Once the verdict was handed down Mohamed Noor was placed in handcuffs and led into custody. He was refused bail and will be sentenced for his crimes on June 7.
The presumptive sentence for third-degree murder is 12 years, and the presumptive sentence for second-degree manslaughter is four years.
Noor showed little emotion as the verdict was handed down. He kept quiet, with his eyes facing down.
Noor is the first police officer to be found guilty of murder for an on-duty shooting.
Under the law of Minnesota, third-degree murder is fatally hurting someone without the intent to kill and "without regard for human life".
Second-degree murder -- the charge Noor was found not guilty of -- is acting with the intention to kill another person but without premeditation.
Noor shot Ruszczyk in the alley behind her Minneapolis home in 2017 after she called the police to report a possible sexual assault.
Noor was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after his split-second decision to raise his gun and fatally shoot an unarmed 911 caller.
The 33-year-old police officer pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his legal team arguing he acted to save his life and the life of his partner.
During the trial, confronting evidence was presented to the court, including an image of Ruszczyk's body with a gunshot wound on the left side of her stomach.
She was wearing a pink t-shirt with the words "Koala Australia" and a drawing of a koala mum with a baby koala on her back.
Members of Ruszczyk's family were present throughout the trial and were in the courtroom as the verdict was delivered.
"We believe he [Noor] was properly charged with a crime," Justine's father John Ruszczyk told media after the verdict was handed down.
"We are satisfied with the outcome."
Justine's fiancé Don Damond described the cruel reality of Justine calling police for help, only to be killed by an officer she should have been able to trust.
"That night there was a tragic lapse of care and a disregard for the sanctity of life," Damond said.
"This case is about Justine and Justine lived to teach us about love ... and she demonstrated what it means to live from the heart. She was a living example of compassion. In her life, she committed to transforming humanity and her legacy is continuing that work today."
Medaria Arradondo Chief of the Minneapolis Police Department said in a statement that he respected the jury's verdict. He also offered his condolences to Justine's friends and family.
"I want to extend my sincere apologies to the family and the friends of Justine Damond Ruszczyk," Arradondo said in the statement.
"This was indeed a sad and tragic incident that has affected family, friends, neighbours [sic], the City of Minneapolis, and people around the world, most significantly in her home country of Australia."
Arradondo also said he would ensure the police force in the city would learn from the case.
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