Charge decision expected in police shooting by end of the year

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — A prosecutor in Minnesota said he expects to decide by the end of the year whether to charge a Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot a woman who called 911.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement that his office has received public pressure to make a decision about the death of Justine Damond, a 40-year-old Australian native killed by Officer Mohamed Noor last month. Damond had called police to report a possible assault and met officers in an alley behind her home where Noor shot her.

“We have received some e-mails and phone calls from members of the community demanding that we charge the officer immediately and ascribing all kinds of nefarious reasons as to why we haven’t done so,” Freeman said.

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“The truth is, we are following the same procedure we have with the three previous officer-involved shootings.”

An investigation and review of a police shooting typically takes four to six months, Freeman said.

The fatal shooting of Damond, who was engaged to be married, has drawn international attention since the shooting.

Freeman broke precedent with the standard practice of having a grand jury to decide whether officers would be charged in police shootings when he reviewed the death of Jamar Clark, who was fatally shot by police in November 2015.

The two officers involved in that case were not prosecuted.

“We will follow that practice in this case,” Freeman said in his statement. “So, once the file is turned over to our office, I will thoroughly review the investigation with several of our most senior prosecutors and make a decision.”