The Latest: Officer in shooting exercising right to silence

July 19, 2017
In this May 2016 image provided by the City of Minneapolis, police officer Mohamed Noor poses for a photo at a community event welcoming him to the Minneapolis police force. Noor, a Somali-American, has been identified by his attorney as the officer who fatally shot Justine Damond, of Australia, late Saturday, July 15, 2017, after she called 911 to report what she believed to be an active sexual assault. (City of Minneapolis via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on the fatal shooting of an Australian woman by police in Minneapolis (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

Some legal experts say the Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman after she called 911 to report a possible rape is smart not to talk to investigators.

Mohamed Noor has yet to talk with agents investigating Sunday night’s shooting, and his attorney has given no indication he will.

Defense attorneys and legal scholars say police have the same constitutional right against self-incrimination as everyone else.

They say the department’s internal affairs unit can compel Noor to give a statement, and fire him if he refuses, but that statement cannot be used against him in any criminal investigation.

In contrast, St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez voluntarily spoke with agents after shooting Philando Castile last summer. Prosecutors used his statement during his manslaughter trial, but the jury acquitted him.


12:20 p.m.

An Australian woman who was shot to death by a Minneapolis police officer that night called 911 twice to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.

City officials on Wednesday released transcripts of the 911 calls that Justine Damond made Saturday night. Damond was killed by a responding officer after she approached their squad car when it finally arrived.

Damond made her first call at 11:27 p.m., when she said she heard a possible sexual assault. Damond told the dispatcher she wasn’t sure but thought a woman was in distress. She called back eight minutes later when no officers had arrived and told the dispatcher she was worried they had the gone to the wrong address.

Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the shooting.


11:45 a.m.

The attorney for a Minneapolis police officer whose partner fatally shot an Australian woman says it was reasonable for the officers to have believed that they might be targets of an ambush.

Officer Matthew Harrity told investigators he heard a loud sound before Officer Mohamed Noor shot 40-year-old Justine Damond.

According to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Harrity told investigators he and Noor were in a squad car Saturday when the sound startled Harrity. Damond appeared at the driver’s side door and Noor shot her from the passenger seat.

Harrity’s attorney, Fred Bruno, tells the Star Tribune “it’s certainly reasonable” to assume any officer would be concerned about an ambush. He referenced the recent death of a New York City officer killed in her squad car.

Bruno declined to provide specifics about the case.


12:15 a.m.

The partner of a Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an Australian woman who had called 911 told investigators he was startled by a loud sound near their squad car seconds before his partner fired his weapon.

Officer Matthew Harrity’s account was released Tuesday by state investigators.

It’s the first to emerge about the moments leading up to the death of 40-year-old Justine Damond. It’s also the only account, since the officer who fired the shot has refused to be interviewed.

Investigators say they cannot compel Officer Mohamed Noor to give an interview.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says Damond approached the driver’s side window of the squad car immediately after Harrity had been startled by the sound. Noor, in the passenger seat, shot Damond through the open driver’s side window.

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