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'Justice for Justine' calls for decision on charges

People gathered Tuesday to call for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to announce a decision on possible charges in the officer-involved shooting death of Justine Damond.

MINNEAPOLIS - A decision on charges in the fatal shooting of Justine Damond is expected by the end of the year, but some in Minneapolis are ready for a decision now.

Damond was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor on July 15 in the alley behind her home. She had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault. Noor's partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, told the BCA he was startled by a loud sound near the squad just before the shooting.

"Despite having had these findings for three months, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has yet to announce, whether he will bring charges against Officer Noor," said Katherine Hamburg with the group, Justice for Justine. The group believes Freeman has had long enough to make a decision and wants it announced soon so it can be "processed properly" and "not overshadowed by other news or the holidays."

Marsh Halberg, a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor.

"It is a little bit of a head-scratcher for me," he said. "I will be truthful that I am wondering why the decision is taking any longer than it has."

However, Halberg says he applauds Freeman for making the decision himself, rather than sending it to a grand jury.

"I think this is a difficult case for the State and that may be another reason for the delay here. This is a challenging case and you don't want to charge a case unless you have a good faith basis that you can prove it beyond reasonable doubt to that very high level – beyond a reasonable doubt," Halberg added.

Freeman told KARE 11 he still plans to make a decision on filing charges by the end of the year.

As for the group Justice for Justine, members say they will hold a rally following Freeman's announcement regardless of the decision. That rally will be held at West 50th Street and Washburn Avenue South where Damond was killed.

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