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Justine Damond's Family Renews Calls To Charge Officer Noor, As Investigation Into Shooting Concludes

A decision is expected by the end of the year.

13/09/2017 10:54 AM AEST | Updated 13/09/2017 10:54 AM AEST
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Australian yoga instructor and life coach Justine Damond was fatally shot by Officer Mohamed Noor outside her Minneapolis home, after calling '911' to report a suspected sexual assault.

Minneapolis investigators have handed their preliminary findings into the deadly police shooting of Australian Justine Damond to the local county attorney, who will now decide whether to lay charges.

Justine's fiancé Don Damond has urged County Attorney Mike Freeman to lay charges, saying "the wait continues for Justine's family and me".

"We want to see justice for Justine, and hope that the Hennepin County Attorney will act swiftly to review the findings and determine charges," he said in a statement.

But Freeman has said he won't be rushed, with the decision over whether to lay charges expected by the end of 2017.

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Justine Damond, 40, with fiance Don and his son, Zach. Justine was shot dead just a month before she was to be married to her long-time sweetheart.

He has previously told News Corp that he would consider a murder charge against Noor, but a second degree manslaughter charge is more likely.

A second degree manslaughter conviction would require Officer Noor to be found guilty of "culpable negligence" in firing on the unarmed Damond, and carries a maximum 10 years imprisonment.

The 40-year-old yoga instructor and life coach from Sydney's northern beaches was shot dead in her pyjamas by Officer Noor behind her Minneapolis home on the night of July 15.

Officer Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, were responding to her emergency call about a possible sexual assault in the back alley.

Her death sparked international outrage and led to the resignation of Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau.

Officer Noor has refused to answer investigators' questions over what caused him to unleash his firearm.

Minnesota Police Department
Officer Noor has refused to answer investigators' questions over what happened the night Justine Damond was killed.

The lawyer for Justine's family in Australia said the family believes the officer needs to be held accountable.

"They certainly believe charges are merited," Bob Bennett said in a telephone interview with Reuters.

During the two-month investigation, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension have probed the medical records and psychological exams of the two officers, as well as scouring the officers' body camera footage, mobile phones, the squad car they were in and audio of the two '911' calls that Damond made that night.

"We appreciate the hard work the BCA has put into investigating the July 15 shooting," the Hennepin County Attorney's office said in a statement.

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Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau resigned in the fallout over Justine's death.

"Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and several senior prosecutors will now carefully review the case file to determine what, if any, charges might be brought.

"The county attorney's office will remain in contact with the BCA and may ask for additional investigation during this review."

Officer Noor has been on paid leave since the shooting.

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