A former Minneapolis police officer was resentenced to 57 months in prison on October 21 for fatally shooting a 911 caller in 2017.
Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was previously convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter for the slaying of 40-year-old Justine Ruszczyk Damond, according to KSTP. Noor had been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison, but his third-degree murder conviction was overturned last month by the Minnesota Supreme Court and led to Noor’s resentencing for second-degree manslaughter on October 21, according to KSTP.
The shooting occurred after Damond called 911 when she believed she heard a woman being sexually assaulted near her home on July 15, 2017, according to NBC. Former Officer Noor, along with his partner Officer Matthew Harrity responded to the scene. Harrity was reportedly driving the patrol vehicle, and as they pulled up to the scene, Damond approached Harrity’s door to greet them, which, Noor says, startled the officers.
“I fired one shot,” Noor testified, according to NBC. He later added, “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”
It must be proved that a defendant acted with a “depraved mind, without regard for human life” when proving a third-degree murder conviction, according to NBC. The state supreme court ruled that the prosecution failed to prove Noor acted in such a manner. The ruling resulted in the overturning of the third-degree murder conviction and Noor’s October 21 resentencing for second-degree manslaughter.
Heading into the resentencing, Noor faced a minimum of 41 months and a maximum of 57 months for second-degree manslaughter, according to MPR.
Judge Kathryn Quaintance sentenced Noor to the maximum of 57 months behind bars, NBC reports. Quaintance noted that Noor had been a model prisoner but added that his actions on the evening of July 15, 2017, justified the maximum sentence.
“You did shoot across the nose of your partner. You did endanger a bicyclist and residents of a community of surrounding houses on a summer Saturday evening. One household was entertaining guests on a porch adjacent to the gunfire,” Quaintance said, according to NBC.
“These factors of endangering the public make your crime of manslaughter appropriate for high end of the guidelines,” she added.
With time served and good behavior, which allows for release after 2/3 of a sentence, it is likely Noor will be released in June of 2022, KTSP reports.
The slain woman’s fiance Don Damond provided the court with a statement during the sentencing by video conference, according to MPR.
“The truth is that Justine should be alive,” said Damond. “No amount of justification, embellishment, coverup, dishonesty, or politics will ever change that truth.”
“I have no doubt she would have forgiven you, Mohamed, for your inability to manage your emotions that night,” Damond would also state.
Damond’s family previously agreed to a $20 million settlement with the city of Minneapolis, according to NBC.