A former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman who called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home has been released from prison on parole.
It comes months after his murder conviction was overturned and he was re-sentenced on a lesser charge.
The Minnesota Department of Corrections website said Mohamed Noor, 36, was placed under the supervision of Hennepin County Community Corrections.
He was freed 18 days shy of the fifth anniversary of the July 15, 2017, fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-year-old dual US-Australian citizen and yoga teacher who was engaged to be married.
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Corrections Department spokesman Nicholas Kimball confirmed that Noor was released on Monday morning.
He said he could not confirm where Noor will be living but that released offenders are generally supervised by the county where they live.
He said Noor was held in North Dakota for most of his sentence and had no disciplinary issues in prison.
Noor was initially convicted of third-degree murder and manslaughter but last year the Minnesota Supreme Court tossed out his murder conviction and 12 and a half-year sentence, saying that charge did not apply to the case.
He was re-sentenced to four years and nine months on the manslaughter charge.
In Minnesota, it is presumed that a defendant with good behaviour will serve two-thirds of a sentence in prison and the rest on parole.
Noor will be on supervised release until January 24, 2024.
Damond’s stepmother, Maryan Heffernan, said in a phone interview on Friday that the timing of Noor’s release – so close to the anniversary of Damond’s death – was painful.
“We’re very disappointed. But we’re not surprised. We’ve been watching events in Minneapolis from miles away and we’re still bewildered about the charge being dropped and we’re still bewildered about the culture of the Minneapolis Police Department,” Heffernan said.
Noor testified in 2019 that he and his partner were driving slowly in an alley when a loud bang on their police SUV made him fear for their lives.
He said a woman appeared at the partner’s driver’s side window and raised her right arm before he fired a shot from the passenger seat to stop what he thought was a threat.