Harrowing footage of the moments after Australian woman Justine Ruszczyk Damond was shot dead by a police officer in America has been released by a US judge, as the court case into her death continues.
The bodycam video shows convicted policeman Mohamed Noor’s reaction to shooting the innocent woman dead after he and partner Matthew Harrity responded to her breathless 911 call – which has also now been released to the public.
Damond had called police in June 2017 after hearing what she feared was a sexual assault taking place outside her house in Minneapolis, but was shot by Noor after she approached the police car in which the officers were sitting.
Harrity had previously told investigators that he’d been scared by a noise from outside the car and had already drawn his own gun from its holster when Noor, in the passenger seat, shot across him – hitting Damond.
Now the shocking video from after the incident has been released, showing Noor burying his head in shock as he speaks with another police officer following the incident.
He appears dazed and confused in the moments after shooting Damond, rubbing his head before he is led away into a police car. In separate footage, Harrity can then be heard speaking to another officer who arrived at the scene, describing what had just happened.
“We had that, uh, call over here, someone was screaming in the back,” he says in the video. “We pulled up here. We were just about ready to just clear and go to another call. She just came out of nowhere on the side of the thing and we both got spooked.
“I had my gun out, I didn’t fire… and then Noor pulled out and fired.”
Here is body worn camera footage as Sgt Shannon Barnette approaches Noor partner Matthew Harrity in the minutes after the shooting. Harrity describes what happened. Sgt Barnette also visits with Noor, who is sitting in a squad. #NoorTrial #justinedamond pic.twitter.com/XLy0TzzaRx
— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) May 23, 2019
Damond’s 911 phone call has also been released to the public. In the discussion with emergency personnel, she can be heard explaining a concerning situation near the back of her house.
“I can hear someone out the back and I’m not sure if she’s having sex or being raped,” Damond is heard saying. “I think she just yelled out ‘help’ but it’s difficult. The sound has been going on for a little while, but I don’t think she’s enjoying it, I think it’s… I don’t know… it sounds distressed.”
The release of the material comes weeks after it was announced Damond’s family will receive a record $US20 million (A$28.5 million) in a settlement from the city of Minneapolis, according to a report by the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.
The settlement, reportedly the largest in Minnesota history, followed news Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter for the death of Damond.
The deal, meanwhile, requires Damond’s family to donate US$2 million of its settlement to a local foundation’s fund aimed at addressing gun violence. The family had originally sued the city for $US50 million.
Noor, meanwhile, is expected to be sentenced on June 7. He could face up to 15 years in prison for the third-degree murder charge and up to five 5 years for the manslaughter charge.