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The Latest: Judge: Can’t use cop’s silence at Damond trial

March 1, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on a pretrial hearing for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the shooting death of an unarmed Australian woman (all times local):

10:15 a.m.

A Minnesota judge says prosecutors can’t use the silence of a former Minneapolis police officer against him at his trial in the 2017 shooting death of an unarmed Australian woman.

Thirty-three-year-old Mohamed Noor is charged with second-degree intentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

Noor refused investigators’ request for a voluntary interview, and prosecutors said they should be allowed to tell jurors that. But Judge Kathryn Quaintance rejected that Friday, calling a person’s right not to incriminate oneself a fundamental constitutional right.

Though Quaintance ruled that prosecutors can’t use Noor’s silence in their “case in chief.” She did say it might be used to impeach his testimony if he takes the stand.

Damond was shot when she approached Noor’s police cruiser moments after she had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her Minneapolis home.

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12 a.m.

A judge is expected to hear arguments about evidentiary issues ahead of the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged in the 2017 shooting death of an unarmed Australian woman.

Thirty-three-year-old Mohamed Noor is charged with second-degree intentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.

During Friday’s hearing, prosecutors are expected to argue they have a right to use Noor’s pretrial silence against him. The defense disagrees. Several other issues will also be addressed, including whether Noor’s prior behavior as a police officer can be used as evidence.

Noor’s trial begins April 1. Court documents indicate he will argue he was defending himself and others on the night of the shooting.