Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has given a press conference revealing more details about his decision to charge Officer Mohamed Noor over the murder of Justine Damond.
Noor has been charged with 3rd degree murder and 2nd degree manslaughter after he fatally shot Damond in southwest Minneapolis on July 15, 2017.
Damond's final words, Freeman revealed, were "I'm dying," or "I'm dead."
It comes after Damond approached Noor's and partner Officer Matthew Harrity's car at around 11:42 p.m., shortly after she called in a possible rape behind her house on Washburn Avenue South.
In a press conference, Freeman said that in the short time between Damond, who was unarmed and in her pajamas, approaching their squad car and Noor firing his shot, there was "no evidence" he encountered, appreciated, investigated or confirmed a threat.
"He recklessly and intentionally fired his handgun from passenger seat with disregard for human life," Freeman said.
"To lose a family member to violence is always wrenching and painful," he said, saying for Damond to lose it at the hands of someone she thought would help her was "inexplicable."
Other details revealed
– A minute before firing the fatal shot, Noor typed a "Code 4" into his squad computer, which means officers had completed their investigation, were safe and needed no assistance.
– Harrity, who was driving, heard a voice and a "thump" somewhere behind them 5-10 seconds after the Code 4 was typed in. He couldn't tell who it was, how loud it was, and whether it was a man, woman or child who was approaching their car.
– When the person was 2 feet away, he could see no weapon in their hand.
– Both officers were nonetheless "spooked" and Harrity himself took his gun out of his holster, holding it by his side. He had a better vantage point than Noor of the person outside the car.
– Noor reached across Harrity and shot Damond, with Freeman believing based on where he was sitting that he couldn't see her properly.
– Noor has still declined to speak with police about the shooting, "as is his right," Freeman said.
– Freeman defended using a Grand Jury to get under oath statements from police officers, saying some hadn't cooperated up until then, and "gave me no choice." The decision to file the charges, however, was his.
– "This would have been a good deal quicker if we had the cooperation of all the Minneapolis police officers," he said.