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Killer cop's lawyers fight in Damond case

The legal team defending the former Minneapolis police officer who shot dead Australian life coach Justine Damond Ruszczyk has slammed the prosecution's attempt to question his mental fitness and behaviour on the job as "gravely flawed in both law and fact".

Mohamed Noor's lawyers, in a new court filing, called on a Minnesota District Court judge to toss out the third-degree murder and manslaughter charges against him.

Prosecutors previously cited reports by police psychiatrists who examined Noor during the pre-hiring process and training assessments to question Noor's ability to deal with people, handle stress and display patience.

Noor's lawyers hit back, describing the prosecution's use of a police candidate psychologist report as a "breathtaking breach of their duty to exercise candor" and "misleading to the court" because the test used has "a racial bias of 20 to 40 per cent".

Noor is a Somali-American.

"The State's claim that the MMPI test illustrates his indifference for human life which led to his action on July 15, 2017 is asking to have Officer Noor convicted because of his race," Noor's lawyers Thomas Plunkett and Peter Wold wrote.

Ms Damond Ruszczyk, 40, formerly of Sydney, called police just before midnight on July 15 last year after hearing what she feared was a woman being raped near her Minneapolis home.

When Ms Damond Ruszczyk approached officer Noor's patrol car in an alley behind her house he shot across his partner and fatally struck the Australian in the stomach.

Noor's lawyers also fought back against the prosecution's decision to cite a May 18, 2017 traffic stop where they alleged Noor pointed his gun at a driver's head.

"The video shows Officer Noor at the driver's side of the car with his gun in 'low carry' pointing down between himself and the driver and appearing calm," Noor's lawyers wrote.

"The squad (car) video shows that Officer Noor, having determined the driver was not a threat holstered his gun about 23 or 24 seconds after arriving at the side of the car."

© AP 2018