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City Reaches Big Settlement in Fatal Police Shooting

Minneapolis will pay $20M over the death of Justine Damond
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 3, 2019 2:55 PM CDT
Justine Ruszczyk Damond, whose photo was displayed at a memorial in 2017, was killed by Mohamed Noor.   (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File)
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(Newser) – The city of Minneapolis will pay $20 million to the family of an unarmed woman fatally shot by a police officer when she approached his squad car after calling 911 to report a possible crime. Mayor Jacob Frey and City Council members detailed the settlement just three days after a jury convicted Mohamed Noor of murder and manslaughter in the 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, the AP reports. The dual citizen of the US and Australia had called 911 in the middle of the night to report a possible rape in the alley behind her house. Noor and his partner were moving down the alley in a police SUV when they say they were startled by a loud bang on the vehicle. Noor testified that he fired to protect them from a perceived threat.

The suit sought more than $50 million, alleging that Damond's civil rights were violated. Frey said the city settled quickly in part due to Noor's conviction for third-degree murder, as well as the officer's failure to identify a threat before he used force. "This is not a victory for anyone, but rather a way for our city to move forward," Frey said. The settlement calls for Damond's family to donate $2 million to a local foundation that addresses gun violence. Damond, 40, was killed a month before she was to marry. Noor, 33, was fired after he was charged. He is in custody awaiting sentencing in June. Sentencing guidelines call for as long as 15 years in prison on the murder charge.

(Read more Justine Damond stories.)

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