Bodycam footage has captured the moment a cop was told to ‘keep his mouth shut’ after gunning down an unarmed Australian woman in Minneapolis.
Justine Ruszczyk Damond was fatally shot outside the home she shared with her American fiancé, Don, and his son in July 2017, after she called 911 earlier that evening to report a possible rape.
In the alarming clip Mohamed Noor, the officer who shot Ms Damond as she approached the police car, appears sweat-soaked and visibly anxious while a fellow officer is heard telling him to ‘keep his mouth shut’.
The bodycam footage, which was tendered to the court and released on Thursday, sees Noor pace in distress while another cop offers him some advice.
‘You alright? Yeah. Just keep to yourself, keep your mouth shut,’ an unidentified officer tells Noor in the clip.
An inaudible sound is heard before the voice continues.
‘Have to say anything to anybody. Alright,’ they say.
They then tell Noor to ‘hop in’ the vehicle and ‘sit with Ringer’ before stating they were ‘goin’ off’.
Appearing to be overwhelmed, Noor nods and says ‘alright’ before climbing into the squad car to sit with another officer.
In another clip, Harrity tells officers he had his gun drawn, but did not fire, whereas Noor did.
Ms Damond, a dual US-Australian citizen was to due be married to her fiancé, Don (pictured) a month after her life was cut short when she was fatally shot outside her home in Minneapolis by police officer Mohamed Noor
Ms Damond had called police to her home on July 15, 2017, believing a woman might be getting raped outside her home. She was shot after she approached the squad car, ‘spooking’ the officers inside (pictured is Noor’s partner Matthew Harrity performing CPR on Ms Damond after the shooting as Noor paces nearby)
Noor (pictured in his mugshot) was found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter last month, but was acquitted on the highest charge, second-degree murder
‘We got spooked,’ he told them.
A video taken by a passing cyclist of Noor’s partner Matthew Harrity performing CPR.
In the clip taken by the cyclist, officers can be heard urging Ms Damond to ‘stay with me’ as they pump her chest.
A jury found Noor was guilty of third degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after a three-week trial in Minneapolis last month.
Bodycam vision released on Thursday shows Noor moments after the shooting, looking sweaty with his head in his hands
The officer is appealing the charge, with his lawyers claiming Noor did not act with a ‘depraved heart’ and was instead trying to ‘defend his partner and himself’.
‘The evidence at trial failed to support finding that Mr Noor acted with a depraved heart,’ Noor’s lawyers wrote in the filing.
‘When Officer Noor fired that night he was not acting with depraved mind seething with wanton passion to cause mischief.’
‘Mr Noor reacted to a dark alley in the middle of the night, a thump on the squad, a voice, a body appearing at the driver’s side window, the startled announcement of fear by Officer Harrity as he reached for his firearm, and his observation that the person in the window was raising their right arm,’ the lawyers wrote.
‘Mr Noor’s actions to defend his partner and himself, in the context of that night, are not evidence of the depraved mind envisioned by Minnesota courts for the last hundred years.’
Ms Damond, 40, formerly of Sydney’s northern beaches, was home alone in Minneapolis just before midnight on July 15, 2017, when she heard a woman’s screams.
She called 911 and when Noor’s police squad car arrived in the alley at the rear of her home she approached the vehicle.
Noor and Harrity testified that Ms Damond startled them, they feared an ambush and Noor said he made the split-second decision to shoot across his partner and out the car window at Ms Damond.
Ms Damond, wearing a pink T-shirt, pyjama pants and bare feet, was shot in the abdomen and died soon after.
Noor, 33, a Somali immigrant who had only been an officer for 21 months before the shooting, faces a 12-and-a-half-year prison term when sentenced on June 7.
Ms Damond’s family filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and received a record $US20 million ($A29 million) settlement.
Noor, who was sacked from the police force after being charged last year, is in custody ahead of his sentencing.
JUSTINE DAMOND SHOOTING – A TIMELINE OF EVENTS
July 15 – 11.27pm – Justine Damond calls 911 to report hearing sounds of distress from a girl or woman behind her house. She says it may be a rape. A dispatcher says officers should arrive soon.
11.35pm. – Justine calls 911 again to ask why police haven’t arrived yet. She gives the dispatcher the address again.
11.41pm. – Officers Matthew Harrity and Mohamed Noor arrive and drive south down the alley behind Justine’s house. Harrity, who is driving, is startled by a loud noise near his squad car. Justine approaches the driver’s side window immediately afterward, and Noor allegedly fires his gun past Harrity, striking Justine through that window of the vehicle, according to Harrity in an interview with state investigators.
11.42pm – Radio report of one person down, starting CPR.
11.50pm – Radio report of police doing CPR for ‘last four minutes’.
11.51pm – Justine is pronounced dead in the alley at the south end of her block. A medical examiner later says Justine was shot once in the abdomen.
July 16 – Hundreds gather in Justine’s southwest Minneapolis neighborhood to mourn her death. Mayor Betsy Hodges visits scene, says she is ‘heartsick’ and ‘deeply disturbed’ by shooting. State investigators say the officers involved in the shooting had not turned on their body cameras and squad car video didn’t capture the shooting.
July 17 – An autopsy shows Justine died of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. Her fiancé Don Damond says the family has been given no information about how the shooting happened. The officer who allegedly shot Justine is identified as Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American with less than two years of experience who became an officer after working in property management. In a statement from his attorney, Noor offers condolences to Justine’s family.
July 18 – State investigators say Noor declined to be interviewed. They say his partner, Matthew Harrity, told them Harrity was startled by a loud noise right before Justine approached the officers’ SUV, and that Noor – in the passenger seat – shot her through the driver’s-side window.
July 20 – Police Chief Janee Harteau makes first remarks on shooting, says it ‘should not have happened’ but defends Noor’s training. Harteau also says the city is reviewing its policy on body cameras and wants them to be used more often.
July 21 – Harteau resigns at Hodges’ request after the mayor says she no longer has confidence in the chief. Hodges names Assistant Chief Medaria Arradondo to take over. At a news conference to discuss the change, Hodges is shouted down by protesters who say she should resign, too.
August 11 – Justine’s family holds a public memorial service in Minneapolis.
August 28 – Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says he expects to decide on charges by year’s end.
September 12 – Authorities announce that the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation has handed the case over to Freeman’s office.
November 18 – Council Member Jacob Frey defeats Hodges in the mayor’s race. Much of the campaign focused on police-community relations.
December 13 – Freeman is caught on video saying he doesn’t have enough evidence to charge Noor and blaming investigators ‘who haven’t done their job’.
December 28 – Freeman says he’ll miss his self-imposed deadline of deciding on charges by year’s end because he needs more time.
January 24, 2018 – Attorneys say Freeman convened a grand jury and subpoenaed other officers to compel them to tell what they know. Freeman says he still intends to make his own decision on charges.
March 20 – Noor turns himself in to the Hennepin County Jail on charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Bail is set at $500,000.
March 21 – Noor appears in court where bail is cut to $400,000 conditional on Noor surrendering his passport and not having contact with Harrity