Prosecutors: Noor and partner responded to 911 call near Ruszczyk's home hours before she was shot

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor walks outside of the Hennepin County Government Center after a procedural hearing in May 2018. Evan Frost | MPR News

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Prosecutors in the case of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor want jurors at his trial to hear about a 911 call that Noor and his partner responded to in Justine Ruszczyk's neighborhood less than two hours before Noor shot and killed her.

In the filing, prosecutors argue that Noor's "lack of investigative curiosity and indifference to citizens in need in two almost back-to-back cases demonstrates a disregard for public safety."

Noor is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Ruszczyk in the alley behind her home on July 15, 2017. She called 911 because she heard what she thought was a woman being assaulted. Noor shot Ruszczyk through the open driver's side window as he sat in the passenger seat of the squad.

Noor claims he was defending himself, using reasonable force and defending others, when he fatally shot Ruszczyk, who also went by the surname Damond.

• Full coverage: The shooting of Ruszczyk and the trial of former officer Noor • Timeline: Justine Ruszczyk's last 22 minutes

Ruszczyk was shot at 11:40 p.m. Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, responded to a 911 call shortly before 10 p.m. about an "elderly woman" who appeared to be "lost or have dementia," according to the prosecution's filing. The woman was at a bus stop that was just 140 feet from the alley where Noor would shoot Ruszczyk. They didn't find the woman, and headed back to the 5th Precinct for their dinner break, according to the filing.

Prosecutors say that Harrity later said he didn't connect the earlier 911 call and the one made by Ruszczyk.

Both parties submitted pretrial motions on the last day to do so.

For their part, Noor's attorneys said in documents filed Friday that they are asking the court to sever the second-degree murder charge from the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges. They argue that each charge requires competing defenses.

"Second-degree murder requires defendant to defend against the element that he specifically did not intend to cause the death of Ms. Ruszczyk, but while doing so he in essence proves the element of third-degree murder that his act was not specifically intended to cause death," defense attorneys wrote.

• Recently: Noor expands shooting defense claim

If Hennepin Judge Kathryn Quaintance grants this motion, it could mean another trial for the separated charge.

Hennepin County attorneys also want the judge to admit evidence about other incidents involving Noor, including one where they argue he pointed his gun at a driver's head without cause.

Noor's defense said in another filing that the incident isn't relevant to the case, and argued that Noor and his partner had responded to "furtive movements" that could have indicated that the driver was reaching for a weapon.

Hennepin County attorneys said that Noor's pre-hire psychological exam with the Minneapolis police should be admitted as evidence.

Noor's attorneys contend the exam "is not relevant, lacks probative value, poses a substantial danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, and misleading the jury," according to the latest court documents.

Defense attorneys also are asking the judge to show the jury pool a video to "address potential jurors' unconscious biases in relation to race, sex, cultural and religious differences."

Noor's next court appearance is scheduled for March 1. His trial is set to begin on April 1.

MPR News reporter Riham Feshir contributed to this story.

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