USA cop claims self defence in Damond death

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Ms Damond, 40, was shot dead by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor late on July 15 past year in an alley behind her home.

On Wednesday, Noor's lawyer filed documents stating that the former police officer intends to claim self-defense and reasonable force.

In the July incident, Damond, who was living in Minneapolis, called 911 to report a possible sexual assault near her house.

Noor was charged by prosecutors in March with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The Star-Tribune reports that he is due back in court on May 8, having been freed on US$500,000 bail.

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Matthew Harrity, the officer driving the police auto from which Noor shot, said he was startled by a loud sound and both officers "got spooked" when Damond appeared out of nowhere, investigators said.

Shortly before he was charged, Noor turned himself in to the Hennepin County Jail after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He is now free on bail.

"Instead Officer Noor recklessly and intentionally fired his handgun from the passenger seat in disregard for human life".

Noor's attorney says his client shouldn't have been charged with a crime in the fatal shooting.

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If convicted of third-degree murder, Mr Noor could face a maximum of 25 years in prison, though the presumptive sentence is 12-and-a-half years.

A second-degree manslaughter charge alleges he acted with "culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk".

Noor has pleaded the fifth, remaining silent both publicly and with investigators.

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