Court Vacates 3rd-Degree Murder Conviction for Mohamed Noor

In Summary

The third-degree murder charge for former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor has been vacated by the state's highest court. 

Minnesota’s highest court vacated the third-degree murder charge for former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor.  

RELATED: Uncle of Darnella Frazier Killed in Crash Involving Minneapolis Police Cruiser  

According to CNN, the court ruled there was insufficient evidence to keep the conviction. Instead, the court ordered he receive the lesser sentence of second-degree manslaughter.  

Noor, a Somali American man, shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk while responding to her 911 call on July 15, 2017. She called to report a possible sexual assault in an alley behind her home in Minneapolis.  

RELATED: DOJ Launches Investigation Into Minneapolis’ Policing Policies  

During his trial, he testified that he feared for his partner’s life when Ruszczyk approached their police vehicle in the dark alley. Prosecutors said Noor failed to properly assess the situation before shooting Ruszczyk. Noor was found guilty on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter. In 2019 he was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison. 

RELATED: Minneapolis Reaches $27M Settlement With Family of George Floyd   

Ruszczyk moved to America from Australia to live with her fiancé Don Damond. After the news of Noor’s conviction changing, Damond released the following statement:  

“In many ways, this has felt like a double blow against justice. My hope and work since Justine’s death has been to try to prevent a further loss of life at the hands of stressed and inadequately trained police officers. The Minneapolis Police Department has not made any meaningful progress towards transformation. And now Noor is not being held accountable for killing my fiancé…It truly feels like there has been no justice for Justine.”  

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.  

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