News World Police shooter granted bail in Justine Damond murder case

Police shooter granted bail in Justine Damond murder case

Justine Damond
The Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering Justine Damond has been granted bail. Photo: LinkedIn
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The Minneapolis police officer charged with murdering Australian woman Justine Damond has appeared in court and been granted bail at $US400,000 ($515,000).

Mohamed Noor wore an orange shirt printed with the words Hennepin County jail when he appeared in court sitting behind a glass screen.

Noor sat stoically in the dock, waving at his supporters and legal team during proceedings and quietly confirmed his name and birth date to the judge.

The 32-year-old has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter over the shooting death of Ms Damond in Minneapolis last July.

Justine Damond
Mohamed Noor has made his first court appearance. Photo: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office

Applying for bail, Noor’s lawyer Tom Plunkett said he was not a flight risk, has a young family and has no connections to any other place.

Mr Noor was granted bail on the conditions he handed in his passport, did not carry a gun and did not communicate with his ex-police partner.

Eluding to the level of scrutiny on the case, Judge Kathryn Quaintance said if there is a trial, it will be in the courtroom, not in the media or on the streets.

Mr Noor’s next court appearance is set for May 8.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman outlined the case against Mr Noor when the charges were announced yesterday.

“We have a second-by-second understanding of what happened,” Mr Freeman said.

“In the short time between when Ms Damond Ruszczyk approached the squad car and the time that officer Noor fired the fatal shot, there is no evidence that officer Noor encountered a threat, appreciated a threat, investigated a threat or confirmed a threat that justified his decision to use deadly force.

“Instead officer Noor intentionally and recklessly fired his handgun from the passenger seat in disregard for human life.”

Ms Damond had called 911 minutes before she was shot about a possible sexual assault behind her home.

A criminal complaint said Mr Noor’s police partner on the night, Matthew Harrity, pulled his gun upon hearing a sound and catching a glimpse of someone behind their car.

When Ms Damond came up to Mr Harrity’s window, he did not shoot.

But Mr Noor did — firing across his partner’s body and killing Ms Damond.

Mr Harrity told his supervisor both men “got spooked” when they were approached.

If convicted of third-degree murder, Mr Noor could face a maximum of 25 years in prison, though the presumptive sentence is 12and-a-half years.