Minneapolis agrees to pay $20M to family of unarmed woman killed by police

“There was not a clear threat before the use of force was made. This is not a victory for anyone, but rather a way for our city to move forward.”

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Image Credit: AP

City officials from Minneapolis announced Friday that the city has agreed to pay $20 million to the family of an unarmed woman who was fatally shot by a police officer after calling 911 to report a potential crime. The officer was recently convicted for her murder.

On July 15, 2017, Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor gunned down an Australian yoga instructor named Justine Damond after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her house. Damond was unarmed when she approached their patrol car, and Noor fatally shot her through the window. Both officers failed to activate their body cameras.

According to Noor, he heard a loud bang against his patrol car before turning and seeing Damond with her right hand raised. But according to prosecutors, Damond’s fingerprints were not found on the patrol car, and both Noor and his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, failed to initially report a loud bang until several days later.

Last week, Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was acquitted of second-degree murder with intent to kill.

After Damond’s family filed a lawsuit against the city and police leaders, city officials announced Friday that the city of Minneapolis would pay $20 million to the family from its self-insurance fund. The family has agreed to pay $2 million of the settlement towards a local foundation’s fund aimed at addressing gun violence.

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“There was not a clear threat before the use of force was made,” stated Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “This is not a victory for anyone, but rather a way for our city to move forward.”

In a statement shortly after Noor’s conviction, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said, “This was indeed a sad and tragic incident that has affected family, friends, neighbors, the City of Minneapolis, and people around the world, most significantly in her home country of Australia.”

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