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The partner of a Minneapolis police officer who shot dead an unarmed yoga instructor testified Thursday that he didn't fire his own gun because he was still trying to determine if he was in danger.
Officer Matthew Harrity agreed with a prosecutor's characterization that it would have been 'premature' to use deadly force.
Harrity - Witness - Trial - Mohamed - Noor
Harrity is a key witness in the trial of Mohamed Noor, who is charged with murder and manslaughter in the July 15, 2017, death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
Damond had placed two 911 calls that night to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. Struck in the abdomen, the 40-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia bled to death in an incident that sparked anger and disbelief in both countries.
Prosecutors - Harrity - Points - Weapon - Investigators
Prosecutors questioned Harrity on some key points, including why he didn't fire his own weapon and why he didn't tell investigators at the scene about a thump on the squad car, something he later said had startled the officers.
Harrity, dressed in full uniform and crying at one point during his testimony, said as he and Noor responded to Damond's 911 call, they drove down the alley with their headlights off, using a spotlight to search for any evidence of a woman in trouble.
Harrity - Safety - Holster - Gun
Harrity, who was driving, had the safety hood off his holster, ready to pull out his gun if needed.
The pair were in the alley for less than two minutes. Finding nothing, they stopped and planned to go to another call.
Harrity - Feeling - Left
Harrity testified that he then had a 'weird feeling' to his left but couldn't make out what it was.
'At this time, I hear something hit the car and I also hear some sort of murmur,' he said, adding that he was startled by the thump and his mind went straight to a possible...
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