$20m compensation paid to family of woman shot dead by police

The US city of Minneapolis will pay $20m (£15m) compensation to the family of an unarmed woman who was shot and killed by a police officer outside her home.

Justine Ruszczyk Damond was shot by Mohamed Noor after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her house in Minneapolis in July 2017.

The 40-year-old life coach, who was originally from Sydney, was dressed in pyjamas when she approached Noor’s police vehicle and was shot in the abdomen.

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey and city council members detailed the settlement just three days after Noor was found guilty of third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Mohamed Noor showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered
Image: Mohamed Noor showed no emotion as the verdict was delivered

The $20m (£15m) settlement calls for Ms Damond’s family to donate $2m (£1.5m) to a local foundation’s fund aimed at addressing gun violence.

Mr Frey said: “This is not a victory for anyone, but rather a way for our city to move forward.”

Bob Bennett, the family’s lawyer, described the settlement amount as “transformational”, adding that it “serves as a marker for future transgressions”.

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After her death, Ms Damond’s family filed a lawsuit seeking more than $50m ($38m) – alleging that her civil rights were violated.

Lifestyle coach Justine Damond. Pic: Instagram
Image: Lifestyle coach Justine Damond was shot outside her home. Pic: Instagram

The 33-year-old officer told the court that a loud bang on his police car scared his colleague Matthew Harrity and that he saw a woman raising her arm appear at the window.

In his only public statement about the shooting, Noor testified that after he heard the loud noise, he saw fear in Mr Harrity’s eyes and heard his partner yell “Oh Jesus!” as he went for his weapon.

“I fired one shot,” Noor said. “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”

Justine Damond's father John Ruszczyk called her death his worst nightmare
Image: Justine Damond’s father John Ruszczyk called her death his worst nightmare

Prosecutors criticised Noor for shooting without seeing a weapon or Ms Damond’s hands.

They also questioned whether the loud bang was real as neither Noor nor Mr Harrity mentioned it to investigators at the scene.

The Somali-American, who had trained to become a police officer in a mid-career switch, was fired after he was charged. He is awaiting sentencing in June.

Source: SKY NEWS

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