Former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday in the 2017 death of Justine Damond, an unarmed woman who was fatally shot shortly after she called 911 to report a possible rape.
The decision from the jury, which received the case on Monday, followed three weeks of testimony in the trial against Noor.
The former officer was found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, the jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder. Noor was taken straight from the courtroom into the custody of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Dept. His sentencing was scheduled for June 7.
Defense attorneys have said Noor was reacting to a loud noise and feared an ambush in the deadly incident. Prosecutors argued there was no evidence Noor faced a threat that justified the use of deadly force.
Body camera footage of the encounter was played earlier this month during the trial, showing the woman’s final moments, as well as officers’ unsuccessful attempts to save her.
One officer’s body camera showed Noor and his partner taking turns performing CPR on Damond before firefighters arrived, the Minneapolis Star Tribune previously reported. Another body camera video showed Noor being taken to a supervisor squad.
Officer Mark Ringgenberg testified Noor kept asking if Damond was OK.
“I just told [Noor] not to say anything,” Ringgenberg said. “I don’t remember specifics.”
Damond, 40, had called 911 to report a possible rape near her home. Noor and his partner were rolling down the alley behind the woman’s residence and checking out the call just before the shooting. Noor testified that a loud bang on the squad car scared his partner and that he saw a woman raising her arm appear at his partner’s window. He fired to protect his partner’s life, he said.
Damond was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia and was set to be married a month after the shooting occurred.
Noor lost his job with the police department after charges were filed against him.
In a statement, the Somali-American Police Association (SAPA) criticized the jury’s decision.
“Officer Noor is the first police officer in Minnesota’s history to be convicted of murder while in the line of duty,” the statement read. “SAPA believes the institutional prejudices against people of color, including officers of color, have heavily influenced the verdict of this case. The aggressive manner in which the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office went after Officer Noor reveals that there were other motives at play other than serving justice.”
“SAPA fears the outcome of this case will have a devastating effect on police morale and make the recruitment of minority officers all the more difficult.”