Justine Damond Ruszczyk and her fiance Don Damond. Picture: Supplied
Justine Damond Ruszczyk and her fiance Don Damond. Picture: Supplied

Justine’s family to get $28m payout

THE city of Minneapolis is paying $US20 million ($A28 million) to settle a lawsuit with the family of an unarmed Australian woman who was fatally shot by a police officer after she called 911 to report a possible crime.

Mayor Jacob Frey announced the settlement three days after a jury convicted Mohamed Noor of murder and manslaughter in the 2017 death of life coach Justine Ruszczyk Damond, 40.

The Star Tribune reported that under the terms of the settlement, the family will be required to donate $2 million of the payment to the Minneapolis Foundation's Fund for Safe Communities, a program designed to fight gun violence in the city.

Australian woman Justine Damond, who was killed by a former Minneapolis police officer. Picture: Stephen Govel
Australian woman Justine Damond, who was killed by a former Minneapolis police officer. Picture: Stephen Govel

The dual citizen of Australia and the US had called 911 to summon officers to a possible rape in the alley behind her house.

The Damond family had filed a $US50 million civil lawsuit against Noor, Officer Harrity, the city of Minneapolis and the current and former police chiefs, alleging that her civil rights were violated.

 

Don Damond before the jury began deliberations in Mohamed Noor's trial for the homicide of Justine Ruszczyk. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia
Don Damond before the jury began deliberations in Mohamed Noor's trial for the homicide of Justine Ruszczyk. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia

 

John Ruszczyk at the Hennepin County Government Center during the trial. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia
John Ruszczyk at the Hennepin County Government Center during the trial. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia

During his trial, Noor, 33, argued that he and his partner were startled by a loud bang on their squad car and that he fired to protect them from a perceived threat.

But after deliberating for 11 hours, a jury found the former officer guilty of third-degree murder and manslaughter in the July 2017 death of Damond. He will learn his sentence on June 7.

 

Former Minneapolis Police Officer, Mohamed Noor. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia
Former Minneapolis Police Officer, Mohamed Noor. Picture: Angus Mordant for News Corp Australia

Frey called the settlement with Damond's family "a way for our city to move forward".

"This is not a victory for anyone, but rather a way for our city to move forward," Frey said. "And I do believe we will move forward together, united in the shared belief that such a tragedy should never occur in our city."

Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey. Picture: Supplied
Minneapolis mayor Jacob Frey. Picture: Supplied