US police officer charged with murdering Australian woman Justine Damond
The Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Australian Justine Ruszczyk Damond has been charged with murder and manslaughter offences.
Mohamed Noor shot the 40-year-old after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her home in July 2017.
The police officer has never explained his actions, refusing to speak publicly or answer questions from investigators.
He has now been charged with third-degree murder, facing a maximum of 25 years in prison, and second-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence.
Justine’s father John and fiance Don have issued a joint statement welcoming the charges.
“Justine’s family in Australia and the US applaud today’s decision to criminally charge Officer Noor with Justine’s murder as one step towards justice for this iniquitous act.
“While we waited over 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.
“We remain hopeful that a strong case will be presented by the prosecutor, backed by verified and detailed forensic evidence, and that this will lead to a conviction.
“No charges can bring 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.”
Images: Justine Ruszczyk – Linked In & Star Tribune – City of Minneapolis