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Ex-Officer Charged in Shooting of Unarmed Woman in Minnesota Is Released on Bail

FILE - Mohamed Noor is pictured at a community event welcoming him to the Minneapolis police force in May 2016.

A former Minneapolis police officer charged in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Australian woman has been released from jail.

Mohamed Noor, a Somali-American, posted a $400,000 bail late Wednesday. He is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40, in July after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.

As conditions of his bail, Noor must have no contact with his former partner, Matthew Harrity; he must surrender his passport; and he cannot possess weapons.

Charges called 'baseless'

The Somali-American Police Association is defending the fired Minneapolis police officer. In a statement Wednesday, the association said the charges against Noor were "baseless and politically motivated, if not racially motivated as well.'' The group said it believed Noor "acted in good faith and in accordance with his department's policy.''

The shooting created a furor in the United States and Australia.

The victim was a meditation instructor who was engaged to be married in a month.

Damond called 911 at 11:27 p.m. on July 15 when she heard a woman's screams. When Noor and his partner arrived in their squad car, Damond, dressed in her pajamas, approached and startled the officers, prosecutors said.

Noor, from his passenger seat, shot across his partner and struck Damond with a single bullet in her chest.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has admitted there is a low success rate in the U.S. of convicting police who have shot members of the public.

He cited a study that found of the estimated 12,000 police-involved shootings between 2005 and 2017 in the U.S., just 80 officers were charged with murder or manslaughter and only 35 percent of them were convicted.

Noor's next court appearance is scheduled for May 8.