(Photo: Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via AP, Pool File)
The Minnesota Supreme Court is reversing Mohamed Noor’s conviction of third-degree depraved-mind murder in the death of Justine Ruszcyzk Damond in 2017.
CBS Minnesota reports that in court filings made available on Wednesday (Sept. 15), the state’s supreme court ruled to reverse the murder conviction of the former Minneapolis police officer and sent the case to district court where he will be sentenced for his second-degree manslaughter conviction.
The ruling claims the mental state necessary for depraved-mind murder “is a generalized indifference to human life” that can’t exist when the defendant’s actions are “directed with particularity at the person who is killed.”
In March, Noor’s attorney filed a petition asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to hear the case after the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year to uphold the 2019 conviction for the shooting death of Damond.
So far, Noor has served nearly 30 months in prison. He was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years after the jury found him guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. That same month, Damond’s family received $20 million in the largest police settlement in Minneapolis history at the time.
The Ruszczyk family released a statement following news of the court’s ruling: “Our family woke this morning to news of the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision that Mohamed Noor’s depraved and senseless shooting of our beloved Justine does not count as murder under Minnesota law,” the statement reads in-part, according to CBS Minnesota. “We are again heartbroken, because we agreed with the trial court, lower appellate court, and, most importantly, the jury of Minnesota residents who believed it does.”
Noor’s conviction was held in contrast to the case of George Floyd because he had been a Black policeman convicted of killing a white woman, converse to former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin, a white officer who was convicted of killing a Black man and later sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison.
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