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Partner of Accused Cop Says He Feared Ambush

from Associated Press reports
Updated: April 18, 2019 05:11 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The partner of a former Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman says he was startled by a thump on the officers' squad car and feared a possible ambush.

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Officer Matthew Harrity is a key witness at the trial of Mohamed Noor. Noor killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond with a single shot as she approached the officers' squad car in July 2017. Damond was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.

Defense attorneys have said Noor was reacting to a noise and feared an ambush when he fired his weapon.

Harrity was driving the police SUV. In his testimony Thursday, he described a glimpse of something to his left, then hearing something hitting the car and "some sort of murmur."

He said he immediately drew his gun. Harrity said that's when Noor fired.

In explaining why he didn't mention the thump in the aftermath of the shooting, Harrity said he was required to give only a brief public safety statement at the scene.

Harrity says he knew from training that he would be giving a full statement in days to come.

Earlier Thursday, Harrity testified that he and Noor were rolling down the alley behind Damond's house searching for anything related to the 911 call of a woman in trouble. Harrity testified he had pulled the hood off his gun's holster in case he needed to draw it.

Asked why, Harrity said he considers every call a threat until it's not.

Ruszczyk Damond was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia and her death sparked anger in both countries. Noor was fired from the Minneapolis police force after being charged in her death

Credits

from Associated Press reports

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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