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, city leaders said Friday. The settlement is believed to be the largest in Minnesota history.
Mayor Jacob Frey and City Council members announced the settlement just three days after a jury convicted former Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor, 33, of murder and manslaughter in the death of Justine Damond, 40.
Damond was a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia.
Late at night on July 15, 2017, Damond had called 911 to report a possible rape in the alley behind her house in Minneapolis, CBS News reports.
Noor and his partner were driving 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 his duty gun at Damond to protect them from a perceived threat after he saw his partner’s terrified reaction when a woman appeared at the driver’s side window, raising her right arm.
Damond was killed immediately after being shot.
Noor was arrested and put on trial for the shooting, Noor was convicted in May 2019. Jurors took about 11½ hours to reach a verdict after hearing three weeks of testimony.
Damond’s family had filed a lawsuit seeking more than $50 million, alleging that her civil rights were violated.
But a $20 million settlement was reached instead and will be paid by the city’s self-insurance fund. Damond’s family is expected to donate $2 million to a local foundation’s fund aimed at addressing gun violence.
Noor is in custody awaiting sentencing in June.