Mon, July 04, 2022


$20 mn settlement reached in US police killing of Australian

The US city of Minneapolis on Friday announced a $20 million civil settlement with the family of an unarmed Australian yoga instructor who was shot dead by a police officer.

Mohamed Noor was convicted Tuesday of murder for the 2017 shooting that killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who had moved to the US to marry her fiancee.

The 40-year-old was killed while approaching Noor's police car. She had called police to report a possible rape in the dark alley behind her home.

Noor's conviction was the first time in the Midwestern city's modern history that an officer was found guilty of murder for an on-duty shooting.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey cited the unprecedented circumstances as playing a role in the record $20 million settlement with Damond's family -- the highest in the city's history.

"As the proceedings made clear, there was not a clear threat before the use of force was made, as per Mr Noor's statements," Frey said at a news conference.

"This is not a victory for anyone, but rather a way for our city to move forward."

The family was to donate $2 million of that money to a fund to fight gun violence in Minneapolis.

Robert Bennett, a Ruszczyk family attorney, said the large settlement was meant to send "an unmistakable message to change the Minneapolis Police Department in ways that will help all of its communities," according to CNN.

The 33-year-old Noor was convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was acquitted of the most serious charge of second-degree murder with intent to kill.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 7.

Published : May 04, 2019

By : Agence France-Presse Chicago