MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The verdict is in, and a jury found former police officer Mohamed Noor guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Noor shot and killed the unarmed yoga instructor in the summer of 2017, after Ruszczyk Damond called 911 that night about a possible rape in the alley behind her home.READ MORE: Wife Of Hockey Ref, Who Died From COVID, Thinks He Contracted It During Carver Co. Games
He has been handcuffed and taken into custody.
Following the verdict, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo issued the following statement:
I’ve just been made aware that the jurors presiding over the former MPD Officer Noor trial have reached a verdict and their decision is guilty on the charge of Murder in the Third Degree and guilty of Manslaughter in the Second Degree. I respect the verdict rendered.
I want to extend my sincere apologies to the family and friends of Justine Damond Ruszcyzk. This was indeed a sad and tragic incident that has affected family, friends, neighbors, the City of Minneapolis and people around the world, most significantly in her home country of Australia.READ MORE: Court Hears Motions In Derek Chauvin Trial; Jury Selection Paused For At Least A Day
I want to acknowledge the important role and work of the criminal justice agencies who were involved in this case including the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
As Chief, I will ensure that the MPD learns from this case and we will be in spaces to listen, learn and do all we can to help our communities in healing. Moving forward, I remain committed to all communities the MPD has taken an oath to serve by continuing to build trust by focusing on our procedural justice efforts. Through collaboration and partnerships with all of our stakeholders, I am hopeful that we will strengthen our community wellness and safety.
Lt. Bob Kroll, head of the police union, issued a statement as well:
From the very onset this was an extremely unfortunate situation for all involved. The tragic loss of life; an officer convicted of murder charges while on duty. Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. Our thoughts are with former Officer Noor. The Federation respects the legal process and the findings of the jury.MORE NEWS: 'Summer During Winter': Minnesotans Enjoy Unseasonable Temps On #Top10WxDay
Meanwhile, the Somali American Police Association, which is based in Minnesota, pointed out “Noor is the first police officer in Minnesota’s history to be convicted of murder while in the line of duty,” and said they fear “the outcome of this case will have a devastating effect on police morale and make the recruitment of minority officers all the more difficult.”