The police officer who allegedly shot and killed Australian yoga teacher Justine Ruszczyk Damond in Minneapolis last year has been charged with third-degree murder, according to media reports.
The officer, Mohamed Noor, is alleged to have shot Ruszczyk, who went by Justine Damond, after she called police on July 15 last year to report a possible sexual assault happening near her home. When Noor and his partner arrived on the scene in their squad car, Damond approached the driver’s side window and Noor fired his gun at her through the window, fatally wounding her.
Records show that Noor was taken into custody at the Hennepin County jail in Minnesota on Tuesday morning and that he has been charged with third-degree “perpetrating eminently dangerous act and evincing depraved mind” and second-degree manslaughter, “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk.”
“I believe the actions in question go against who we are as a department,” then–Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau told reporters in the days after the shooting. “These were the actions and judgments of one individual.” Harteau resigned a week after the shooting, amid growing criticism of the police department.
“While we waited over eight months to come to this point, we are pleased with the way a grand jury and County Attorney Mike Freeman appear to have been diligent and thorough in investigating and ultimately determining that these charges are justified,” they said in the statement. “We remain hopeful that a strong case will be presented by the prosecutor, backed by verified and detailed forensic evidence, and that this will lead to a conviction. No charges can bring our Justine back. However, justice demands accountability for those responsible for recklessly killing the fellow citizens they are sworn to protect, and today’s actions reflect that.”
After years of combatting the injustice of Black men being killed by the hands of white police officers, the double standard of a police officer of color being charged with the murder of a white woman with no backlash from the police community is simply uncanny. America better pull it’s unjust skirt down.