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Minnesota officer charged with second-degree murder in Australian’s death

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The Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman last July was arrested on Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder and third-degree manslaughter, according to county records.

Mohamed Noor was arrested by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and his bail was set at $500,000, according to county jail records.

Minneapolis’ top prosecutor Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is expected to announce the charges at a news conference at 2:30 p.m. local time in the July 2017 death of Justine Damond, 40, who was shot by Noor from his patrol car.

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Freeman had delayed his decision in December, saying his office needed more time and he did not have enough evidence to charge Noor. The county attorney’s office declined to comment beyond the statement on Tuesday.

Noor has been on paid leave and had declined to be interviewed by Minnesota state investigators. Neither Noor’s attorney, Tom Plunkett, nor the head of the Minneapolis Police Union, Bob Kroll, could immediately be reached for comment.

Plunkett has said that Noor extended his “thoughts and wishes” to Damond’s family and raised concerns about Freeman’s objectivity.

The attorney for Damond’s family, Bob Bennett, could not be reached on Tuesday. He has said that the family supported the delay in the charging decision as they wanted a thorough investigation.

Damond, who was living in Minneapolis and engaged to be married, had called police about a possible sexual assault near her house and approached the police after their arrival, authorities have said.

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The shooting drew condemnation in Minnesota and Australia, where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it “shocking” and “inexplicable.” Then-Minneapolis police chief Jamee Harteau resigned after city officials said procedures had been violated and that Damond “didn’t have to die.”

 Neither Noor, who came to the United States from Somalia as a child, nor Matthew Harrity, another officer in the patrol car, had their body cameras activated, police have said.
Harrity has told investigators that he was startled by a loud sound near the patrol car shortly before Noor fired through the open driver’s-side window, striking Damond. Court documents said a woman slapped the back of the car before the shooting.

Reporting by Todd melby, Writing by Ben Klayman

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Congress still has one big tool left to rein in Trump’s corruption: Oversight Committee Democrat

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Senate Republicans may have managed to quash the impeachment trial without calling forth any new witnesses or seriously considering the evidence against President Donald Trump. And the president may feel vindicated and largely invulnerable as a result.

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

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2020 Election

Bloomberg and Biden attack Sanders supporters’ ‘Trump-like’ tactics

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