If found guilty, Noor will be the first officer in the state’s history to serve jail time for shooting a civilian.
In an hour-long final address, prosecutor Amy Sweasy urged the jurors to find Noor guilty on all three counts. A manslaughter conviction was the «absolute minimum» penalty required by the facts of the case, she said.
While all murder cases are tragedies, Sweasy said the death of the Australian life coach represented «tragedy compounded on top of tragedy».
«So many lives have been affected by this case,» she said. «Everything about it is a tragedy.»
While Noor had undoubtedly suffered after the shooting, Sweasy said: «This was a traumatic event of his own making.
«He was not attacked, he was not assaulted, he didn’t have a mark on him.»
Noor’s attorney, Tom Plunkett, began his closing statement by theatrically banging his fist on a lectern, yelling a profanity and pointing his fingers as if holding a gun.
Plunkett was re-enacting the «precise moment» Noor shot Ruszczyk, a split-second decision he said was driven by Noor’s fear that he and his police partner were being ambushed.
«Mr Noor intended to stop a threat, that was his goal,» he said.
«If there had been a gun in [Ruszczyk’s] hand then Mr Noor would have been a hero but there wasn’t. Instead we have a tragedy.»
He continued: «Mr Noor is going to live his life with the fact that he took an innocent life. That’s a tragedy, not a crime.»
Ruszczyk’s family, who have been in the courtroom for the entire trial, grew visibly distressed when Plunkett mentioned her kickboxing and barre training to explain why she may have frightened the officers.
Plunkett also said it was reasonable to assume Ruszczyk felt safer approaching police at night than an American would have because she was from Australia, where gun violence is rare.
Sweasy said it was not reasonable for Noor to shoot dead an unarmed civilian just because he felt startled.
Noor was not in «gangland territory» but one of the safest suburbs in Minneapolis, she said. He should not have been surprised to encounter a woman in the alley given the nature of Ruszczyk’s 911 call, she said.
Prosecutors have repeatedly insinuated throughout the trial that Noor and his police partner did not hear a slap or thump on their car before shooting Ruszczyk. Prosecutors suggested they made this story up after the fact to justify the shooting.
Ruszczyk’s fingerprints were not found on the officers’ police car.
A use-of-force expert called by the prosecution testified that Noor’s actions were «excessive, objectionable, unreasonable and extremely dangerous».
«The most reasonable force in this situation would have been no force at all,» Derrick Hacker told the court last week.
Sweasy said that Noor, who testified in his own defence last week, gave evidence that was «filled with inconsistencies» and contradicted important parts of the testimony of his police partner Matthew Harrity.
She stressed that the second and third degree murder charges Noor faces do not mean that the killing was pre-meditated. The second degree murder charge requires only the intent to kill and the third degree murder charge requires a reckless disregard for human life.
Plunkett said the prosecution had introduced many «red herrings and side shows» into the case in a bid to distract the jury.
The jurors will be sequestered until they reach a unanimous decision on all counts.
Matthew Knott is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age based in the United States.