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The one lie that locked up Minneapolis Somali killer cop

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The one, big lie that locked up a killer cop. Prosecutors have revealed how they were able to convince a jury that Minneapolis’s first Somali police officer murdered Australian yoga teacher Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

Related: Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor gets 12.5 years for murder of unarmed, pajama-clad 911 caller Justine Damond

if Justine was wearing a hijab, she’d be alive. The reality is that Noor should never have been a police officer, and only was because he was Muslim. On the force since 2015, he had three complaints against him. He was described by neighbors as “jumpy,” “ill-tempered,” “strict” and “disrespectful of women and blacks.”

Ms Damond Ruszczyk called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home just minutes before she was shot in July 2017.

Hijab-wearing Mayor Betsy Hodges instituted hiring policies in the police department to prioritize the hiring of Somali Muslims. This at a time when more than 22 young men from the community had left the state to join al-Shabab in Somalia, and roughly a dozen people have left in recent years to join the jihad in Syria, including the Islamic State group. The area in Minneapolis where Muslim killer-cop was recruited and fast-tracked for police work is a notorious hot spot for jihad recruitment.

Justice for Justine has been been a long, protracted road. Minneapolis Somali-Muslim cop Mohamed Noor shot unarmed, pajama-clad Justine Damond to death at point blank range. Damond had called 911 to report a sexual assault behind her home when she heard the woman screaming for help. Mohamed Noor “shot to kill” her when she approached his squad car just minutes after she called 911.

“The circumstances surrounding the crime show that the defendant acted with the intent to kill,” prosecutors wrote in a motion to add second-degree murder.

The one lie that locked up a killer cop: Prosecutors reveal how they were able to prove that Australian yoga teacher Justine Damond was murdered

* Prosecutors revealed how they convicted Mohamed Noor, 33, of 2017 shooting
* Justine Ruszczyk Damond had called police to report possible sexual assault
* Noor fatally shot Ms Ruszczyk after he arrived on the scene in Minneapolis
* Prosecutor Amy Sweasy noted Noor’s version of events on day was a giveaway

Prosecutors have revealed how they were able to convince a jury that a US police officer murdered Australian yoga teacher Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

Minneapolis policeman Mohamed Noor, 33, had pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter after claiming he was trying to defend his partner Matthew Harrity.

But a glaring disparity between their accounts of the fatal 2017 shooting lead the jury to find that he recklessly gunned down the victim.

Ms Ruszczyk, 40, had called police to report a possible sexual assault near the home she shared with her American fiancé Don Damond.

Noor testified during his trial that after he arrived on scene he heard a loud bang on his squad car which scared him and Harrity.

Amy Sweasy said that 33-year-old Mohamed Noor (pictured) – who was given a 12-and-a-half year jail sentence – and his account of the 2017 shooting at Minneapolis was a giveaway

At the time, Ms Ruszczyk, 40 (pictured, with fiance Don Damond), had earlier called police to report a possible sexual assault near her home

Noor claimed he saw a woman at Harrity’s window raising her arm and fired his weapon to defend his partner who was unable retrieve his gun from his holster.

Harrity, however, was captured on body cam footage admitting he had his gun out of the holster before Noor, but chose not to fire.

Prosecutors Amy Sweasy said the varying accounts of the shooting proved to a jury that Noor was out to kill.

Prosecutors Amy Sweasy and Patrick Lofton revealed how they convinced a jury Noor had shot Ms Ruszczyk in 2017

KILLER COP’S ONE LIE

US police officer Mohamed Noor claimed he shot Australian yoga teacher Justine Damond to ‘protect his partner’, who was unable to get his gun out of his holster

His partner, Matthew Harrity, told the court he had his gun out prior to the shooting

Police body cam footage taken moments after the fatal shooting also captured Mr Harrity saying he had taken his gun out of his holster before Noor decided to fire

Prosecutor Amy Sweasy said ‘it could not have been that Harrity’s story and Noor’s story were accurate because they were both so different’

She said Noor’s version of events were totally at odds with his partner Harrity.

‘First of all, Officer Harrity didn’t share that opinion,’ Ms Sweasy said. ‘He was asked that also, if he had trouble getting it (his gun) out,’ she told Nine’s A Current Affair,

‘It could not have been that Harrity’s story and Noor’s story were accurate because they were both so different, which in the end, is often what criminal trials come down to,’ Ms Sweasy said.

Prosecutor Patrick Lofton also claimed that Noor shot too quickly.

‘He didn’t appreciate the situation, to identify a target, a threat, and instead he fired without doing that – that’s at the heart of this case.’

Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on April 30, and was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years jail.

His lawyers had pushed for the sentence be no longer than a year and a day in prison but Minnesota District Judge Kathryn Quaintance imposed a sentence that was in line with what prosecutors had requested.

‘The law does not allow license because someone is a good person,’ Quaintance said in imposing a sentence of 150 months.

‘Good people sometimes do bad things.’

Noor said from the moment he pulled the trigger he felt fear and when he saw Ms Ruszczyk’s body on the ground he was horrified.

‘Seeing her there, I knew in an instant I was wrong,’ Noor said.

‘The depth of my error has only increased from that moment on. Working to save her life and watching her slip away is a feeling I can’t explain. … It leaves me sad, it leaves me numb, and feeling incredibly lonely. But none of that, none of those words capture what it truly feels like.’

 

Don Damond, Justine’s fiance (pictured in court Friday) read a statement saying he relieves the moment of her death every time she sees the alley behind her home

Zach Damond, the son of Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s fiance Don Damond, gets emotional while reading his victim impact statement

Minnesota District Judge Kathryn Quaintance (pictured) imposed a sentence on Noor that was in line with what prosecutors had requested

Mr Damond said in court last Friday that every time he sees the alley where she walked barefoot and in her pyjamas toward Noor’s police car he relives the moment.

‘In my mind I beg you to turn around,’ he said, speaking of a ‘lost future’ of decades filled with ‘love, family, joy and laughter’.

Mr Damond said Justine was his soul mate and he misses her ‘every day, every moment’.

‘We both lived with our hearts open, caring for others,’ he said.

Ms Ruszczyk was a dual citizen of the US and Australia living in Minnesota. She was set to marry Don Damond, who is American, a month after the shooting.

Her  father, John, asked for the maximum sentence and called her killing ‘an obscene act by an agent of the state’.

‘Justine’s death has left me incomplete – it is as if I have lost a limb or a leg,’ he said in the statement read to court.

‘I have lost my daughter, I have lost those private conversations over tea.’

Noor must serve two-thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

 

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