MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We got a firsthand look Thursday at the night former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Last month, a jury found Noor guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The court is now releasing most of the evidence used in that case.
Perhaps the most powerful pieces of evidence were Ruszczyk Damond’s 911 calls to report a possible sexual assault outside of her home. They were among the final moments of her life.
TRANSCRIPT: Body camera footage from Officer Noor (.PDF)
“Hi. I can hear someone out the back and I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped,” Justine said to the 911 dispatcher.
“OK, I’ve already got an officer on the way. What is your name?” said the dispatcher.
“Justine,” she said
The Australian-turned-Minnesota yoga teacher wanted to make certain help was coming, so she called again. Six minutes after she hung up, she was shot. Officers never found an assault, but they did encounter Justine in an ally. Officer Noor shot Justine from inside his cruiser, reaching over his partner, Matthew Harrity. A bicyclist’s video shows the pair quickly tried to help.
The officers’ peers quickly responded, and were concerned and confused. Body camera video shows the scene commander Sgt. Shannon Barnette approaching Officer Harrity.
“I have no idea what happened, I just pulled up. What’s going on?” Barnette said.
“We had the call over here, someone was screaming in the back. We pulled up here, we were about to clear and go to another call,” Harrity said. “She just came up out of nowhere on the side of the thing. We both got spooked, I had my gun out. I didn’t fire. And Noor pulled his gun out and fired.”
TRANSCRIPT: Body camera footage from Officer Harrity (.PDF)
Officer Jesse Lopez approaches a shaken Noor with a word of warning.
“You alright? Yeah. Just keep to yourself, keep your mouth shut. [inaudible] have to say anything to anybody. Alright,” Lopez said.
The footage from Barnette’s perspective shows just how confusing that night was for everyone who responded. Other officers told the jury during testimony that they too were confused when they first got on scene.
The ruling comes after a coalition of media organizations fought for public access to the evidence. Last week, the court said it would make the exhibits available for viewing, but a decision on allowing copies was postponed.
There’s more than an hour’s worth of audio and video from that night in total.