March 26, 2019 09:23 AM
Justine Damond's family said Tuesday they are pleased with the decision to charge the Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot the 40-year-old in July.
Court records show Mohamed Noor has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in connection with Damond's death.
Damond's family issued the following statement:
Justine's family in Australia and the U.S. applaud today's decision to criminally charge Officer Noor with Justine's murder as one step toward justice for this iniquitous act. 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. 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.
Some in Damond's former neighborhood said they had wanted to see justice in the case, but were also trying not to rush to judgment.
"I feel badly for the the officer because I cannot believe he intended to kill an innocent woman," neighbor Elizabeth Eisenstadt said. "But there are two sides to it. He killed an innocent woman that we respect and cared for. "
"The circumstantial evidence that at least I am aware of it seems like the accountability should be there," another neighbor Ryan Masterson added. "So, based on what I've seen in the news and what I have seen so far, there should be a conviction. But I'm not sure."
Todd Schuman organized a rally scheduled for Tuesday night in Minneapolis to show support for Damond's family.
"We're holding our hearts out today for Justine's family here and in Australia," he said. "We are pleased that charges have been announced and hope for a swift trial for her family. And we also hold today in our hearts all the victims of police violence."
Meanwhile, others spoke out Tuesday regarding the charges filed.
Teresa Nelson, ACLU-MN's legal director, issued the following statement in response:
The charges against Officer Mohamed Noor are a step in the right direction. Justine Damond's family and loved ones deserve accountability in her killing.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman made it clear that Justine Damond was a victim of unjustified force and did not deserve to die.
This prosecution is a step towards holding this officer accountable for his actions. Our expectation is that officers are held accountable when taking someone's life and this should be true no matter the race of the victim or officer. People of color are disproportionately the victims of police violence and rarely see justice served.
Though welcome and important, these charges cannot bring back Justine Damond nor can they alone mend the fractured relationship between police and communities.
Updated: March 26, 2019 09:23 AM
Created: March 20, 2018 12:16 PM
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