He knows he can't survive this so if he doesn't play the aggreived minority, small chance, he won't survive, and the chances for that at this point are small as people are pissed at this aggregious police protection power scheme by the department, who are busy playing up their legal corporate status while pretending municipal jurisdiction.
Too friggin corporate grave weird, even Hunter T would rise from his grave and grin at the unbelievable jurisdictional juxtaposition...
Minneapolis police put teeth in stricter body camera rules By STEVE KARNOWSKI Associated Press
April 4, 2018 — 3:25pm
MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis police officers dispatched to a scene must activate their body cameras well before they arrive and could face progressively harsh penalties for not doing so, ranging from suspensions to firing, the police department announced Wednesday.
The department's stricter body camera policy comes after it was criticized last summer when two officers involved in the fatal shooting of an Australian woman, Justine Ruszczyk Damond, failed to activate their body cameras when they were dispatched to her home. The officer who killed Damond, Mohamed Noor, has been fired and is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
"For the first time, we're giving the body camera policy teeth by providing the first clear disciplinary structure for instances when this policy is violated," Mayor Jacob Frey said at a news conference announcing the new rules. "It is a stronger, clearer and more precise policy.
After Damond's death, police Chief Medaria Arradondo instituted new rules requiring officers to hit the camera's record button when responding to every call or traffic stop, but compliance was lackluster and he acknowledged that no officers had been disciplined for failing to comply.
Arradondo said the new policy gives officers "clearly defined expectations" and will help build trust and accountability with the public.
The new rules specify that officers must activate their cameras at least two blocks from their destinations, or immediately if dispatched to a closer incident. That includes assisting squad cars. A list of other situations also requires activation. The new rules also specify when officers can deactivate their cameras. Officers are also required to notify their supervisor if a camera malfunctions and the supervisor will decide whether the officer remains on call.
Failure to activate the camera when the rules require can now result in a 40-hour suspension for the first offense and can get an officer fired if there are aggravating factors. Similar penalties will apply if officers deactivate their cameras before the rules allow. Suspensions start at 10 hours for failing to document premature deactivations. But department officials will have discretion to consider mitigating and aggravating factors.
"Any body camera policy worth its salt must have consequences. This one does," Frey said thumping on the podium for emphasis.
An internal audit in September found that officers were activating their cameras more often, but that use of the technology was inconsistent and some officers never turned them on at all. The City Council then instructed the department to report quarterly on compliance.
Deputy Chief Henry Halvorson conceded at a council hearing in February that the department still wasn't tracking whether all officers were routinely using their cameras and that it hadn't fully staffed the office that is supposed to review footage to ensure officers are complying.
Police union leaders reviewed a draft of the new policy and offered recommendations.
"We looked it over. We have no issues with it. It clearly defines the duties and expectations. ... We're good with it," said Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Federation.
Arradondo also said the city will put data on its website before summer that will show citizens how well or poorly the department is complying, down to the precinct and neighborhood level.
Justin Terrell, executive director of the Council for Minnesotans of African American Heritage, told reporters he wanted to recognize Frey and Arradondo for their "good work" in their short times in their positions. Arradondo became chief in August and Frey took office in January. Their predecessors both lost their jobs partly over their handling of the Damond case.
"We see in the first few months of this administration that they're serious about working on police issues, which is really important to me and to our community," Terrell said. "We stand here 50 years to the day after losing Martin Luther King to a sniper's bullet, and we know that our country has very large issues around race and our state continues to face large racial disparities."
Minneapolis launched a body camera pilot project in 2014, just months after the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black 18-year-old in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, and the entire department began using the technology in 2016.
The fatal police shooting of Jamar Clark in Minneapolis in November 2015 and the ensuing street protests added impetus to the project because the two officers involved in that incident didn't have body cameras.
'A nightmare come to life': Justine Damond's family sue police for her death a year after officer shot and killed her in her nightgown
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Justine Damond's civil rights were violated when she was shot by former Officer Mohamed Noor in July 2017
The lawsuit also claims Noor and his partner at the time, Officer Matthew Harrity, conspired to cover up the facts surrounding the shooting
The shooting, which drew international attention, cost the police chief her job and forced major revisions to the department's policy on body cameras
Prosecutors have charged Noor with murder and manslaughter, alleging he acted recklessly with disregard for human life
By Associated Press
Published: 14:29 EDT, 23 July 2018 | Updated: 23:06 EDT, 23 July 2018
The family of an Australian-American woman, who was killed by a former Minneapolis police officer last year after she called 911 to report a sexual assault, filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging the officer was inexperienced and unfit for duty.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Justine Ruszczyk Damond's civil rights were violated when she was shot July 15, 2017, by former Officer Mohamed Noor.
The lawsuit also claims Noor and his partner at the time, Officer Matthew Harrity, conspired to cover up the facts surrounding the shooting and made a conscious decision not to activate their body cameras.
'The result: A nightmare come to life, without the evidence the MPD ordered its officers to collect and where, as a consequence, those same officers are free to speak (or not speak) with impunity, furthering their own interests rather than the interests of justice,' the lawsuit says, referring to the Minneapolis Police Department as MPD.
The lawsuit could result in a multi-million dollar payout to Damond's family and was filed on Monday by Bob Bennett, a lawyer who specializes in representing victims of police shootings in Minnesota.
The lawsuit, filed by Damond's father, John Ruszczyk (pictured), seeks monetary damages. It names both officers, the city, and the current and former police chief as defendants.
The shooting, which drew international attention, cost the police chief her job and forced major revisions to the department's policy on body cameras.
The lawsuit, filed by Damond's father, John Ruszczyk, seeks monetary damages. It names both officers, the city, and the current and former police chief as defendants.
Justine Damond's legal name is Justine Ruszczyk, 40, but she had been using the last name of her fiance, Don Damond, professionally.
Prosecutors have charged Noor with murder and manslaughter, alleging he acted recklessly with disregard for human life.
Noor was allowed to walk out of jail after posting a $400,000 bond in March. Noor's attorney, Thomas Plunkett, argued that his client did not pose a flight risk and has been in Minnesota from the age of five since fleeing his native Somalia with his family. A date for his trial has yet to be set.
Prosecutors say there was no evidence Noor encountered a threat that justified the use of deadly force. His criminal case is pending and he was fired from the Police Department.
Prosecutors say Damond, a 40-year-old life coach, had called 911 on July 15, 2017, to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home.
Noor responded with Harrity, who was driving. Prosecutors say Harrity told investigators he heard a voice and a thump on the back of the squad car, and glimpsed a person's head and shoulders outside his window.
Harrity told investigators that both officers got 'spooked' before Noor fired.
The officers did not turn on their body cameras until after the shooting. There was no squad camera video.
Messages left Monday with the city, the Police Department, and Noor's attorney were not immediately returned.
Plunkett has said previously that that Noor acted as he had been trained and was consistent with department policy.
Reading the article, it is blatantly obvious Noor was unqualified to be an elevator operator let alone be a cop.
And political correctness/white guilt sent him out to kill Justine Diamond.
Good Job Minnesota, keep up the good work.
" has trouble drving with lights and sirens "
" asocial "
You are HIRED !!!!!!
Do you want overtime
A pension also ?
NOT a problem !!!
Your skill set could NOT BE BETTER
for our needs.
Ohh...here is a gun, keep it loaded and only use it when you feel the urge.
Be careful out there now,
see you at the union picnic
good day sir.
Fired Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor is scheduled to stand trial on murder and manslaughter charges next April for the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond.
In a brief court appearance — Noor’s second since he was charged — Hennepin County District Judge Kathryn Quaintance set an April 1, 2019, trial date, while denying a number of defense motions to dismiss the case and to exclude certain evidence.
There existed enough evidence, she ruled, to bring Noor to trial for the death of the 40-year-old Australian woman in July 2017.
“What was in the defendant’s mind at the time of the incident can only be inferred at this point,” Quaintance said in court, reading from her order.
“There is, however, sufficient evidence from which the state could argue that Mr. Noor fired without knowing what or who was outside the police cruiser.”
Defense attorney Thomas Plunkett declined to comment on Thursday’s hearing, and a spokesman with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a message.
Noor, who was fired from the department in March, hasn’t entered a plea on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter, but his attorneys indicated that he would plead not guilty by self-defense. He remains free on bail.
His termination was appealed by the police union, but its grievance is on hold pending the outcome of the criminal case.
The defense argued for dismissal on the grounds that the intense media attention surrounding the case might undermine Noor’s right to a fair trial.
The defense also argued that comments Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman made last winter rose to the level of prosecutorial misconduct and could taint prospective jurors.
But while Quaintance called Freeman’s comments lamenting the lack of evidence in the case “ill-advised,” she wrote in a separate order that “there is no indication that it has the potential to prejudice Defendant’s right to a fair trial.”
Prosecutors have argued that the shooting was the product of a “depraved mind, regardless of human life,” releasing excerpts of Noor’s training and psychological records that they say show he was unfit to be an officer.
The defense has said the results of psychological testing alone provide an incomplete picture of Noor, calling prosecutors’ release of those records intentionally “misleading.” Noor’s lawyers maintained that the ex-officer fired in response to a perceived threat, after Damond banged on the back of his police SUV, startling him and his partner, Matthew Harrity.
In denying their motion to quash the psychological records, Quaintance maintained that while the psychiatrist who interviewed Noor has a medical background, no physician-patient privilege bars their release, since the records were obtained during pre-employment screening. She further ruled that there was no legal precedent for sealing the records, as the defense had requested.
Noor is the first police officer statewide in recent memory to be charged with murder for an on-duty killing.
Damond, whose legal last name was Ruszczyk, but who went by Justine Damond professionally, had called 911 to report a possible rape in the alley behind her south Minneapolis home in July 2017. Prosecutors say she was shot as she approached the SUV’s driver side window, with Noor firing past his partner, who was behind the wheel.
Noor arrived in court Thursday wearing a dark-colored suit, pushing his way through a scrum of photographers and reporters who followed him until he went through security. He said nothing during the 10-minute hearing. Afterward, he shook hands with several supporters who sat behind him in court.
Last week, Quaintance denied a petition by an Australian broadcaster to allow cameras to broadcast the hearing, after attorneys on both sides objected.
Prosecutors argued that Noor’s actions on that night reflected a pattern of behavior that dated back to his hiring in early 2015, when a psychological profile exam revealed “a level of disaffiliativeness that may be incompatible with public safety requirements.” They said red flags were also raised during Noor’s training.
Prosecutors sought to seal the records, arguing that since they were collected in the course of an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, it should be considered “investigative data,” whose release under state data practices law is allowed only when the investigation is closed. Quaintance agreed, but did not rule on a follow-up filing by Noor’s attorneys asking that if the judge allowed those records in, she make them available to the public.
Noor is also the subject of two lawsuits currently wending their way through federal court. Damond’s father filed a $50 million suit last month accusing Noor and Harrity of conspiring to cover up evidence of the shooting by failing to turn on their body cameras, and later hiding behind a “blue wall of silence” as the case was being investigated.
A status conference is scheduled for Oct. 17 in another lawsuit, filed weeks before the Damond shooting by a south Minneapolis woman who accused Noor and two other officers of illegally removing her from her home.
Attorneys in the Damond suit have filed motions seeking to delay the proceedings until after the criminal trial, but the judge in that case has yet to rule.
A Police Department spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Federal judge delays wrongful death lawsuit against ex-Minneapolis officer Noor until after criminal proceedings
U.S. magistrate judge wrote that he was forced to weigh how Noor's decision to invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination might affect both cases.
By Libor Jany Star Tribune
October 2, 2018 — 10:12pm
A federal judge on Tuesday agreed to wait until after the criminal proceedings against Mohamed Noor are finished before continuing the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond against the former Minneapolis police officer and others.
In reaching his decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge Tony Leung wrote that he was forced to weigh how Noor’s decision to invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination might impact both his criminal and civil cases. Matthew Harrity, his co-defendant and partner on the night Damond was killed, has also made clear through his lawyers that he would likely plead the Fifth Amendment in the civil case.
“The Court is extremely sympathetic to the fact that a stay ‘lengthen the time during which the Plaintiff must address the traumatic events alleged,’ ” Leung wrote in his order, citing case law.
“On the other hand, it is altogether probable that Plaintiff will receive little to no answers to his questions from Noor and possibly Harrity through this lawsuit while the murder and manslaughter charges are pending.”
A trial date in the criminal case was set for April 1, 2019, although attorneys for both sides are expected to return to court next March to argue pretrial motions.
Leung wrote in his order Tuesday: “So while Plaintiff should not be forced to sit indefinitely idle, his understandable quest for the truth behind his daughter’s tragic death would be enhanced, rather than diminished at this time, by a stay of this civil proceeding while the criminal trial proceeds.”
He further argued that allowing the civil case to proceed would place a “substantial burden” on Noor, saying that attorneys for Damond’s father, John Ruszczyk, would likely use Noor’s continued silence “to help prove Noor’s liability.”
Without a stay, Noor would be forced to choose between defending himself in the criminal case or the lawsuit, Leung wrote, echoing arguments made by several attorneys in the lawsuit.
Attorney Bob Bennett, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Damond’s father, opposed postponing the trial. He argued at a hearing last month that this would only delay the timeline for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, which is handling the criminal case against Noor, to turn over thousands of pages of discovery materials.
Lawyers for Noor and his co-defendants — the city of Minneapolis, Harrity, current Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and his predecessor, Janeé Harteau — all argued in favor of delaying the civil case to avoid jeopardizing the criminal proceedings.
The lawsuit, which seeks $50 million in damages, argues that the two officers “conspired” to turn off their body cameras during the incident to conceal “evidence that would incriminate Noor, evidence that would expose the false statements of Harrity, and evidence that would show the public and the jurors in both the criminal and civil trials the truth of the circumstances of Justine’s death.”
It also faults the department and its leaders for failing to properly train the officers.
Last week, Noor made his second court appearance since March, when he was charged in the death of the 40-year-old Damond in July 2017.
Damond, whose legal last name was Ruszczyk, but who went by Justine Damond professionally, had called 911 to report a possible rape in the alley behind her south Minneapolis home. Prosecutors say she was shot as she approached the SUV’s driver side window, with Noor firing past his partner, who was behind the wheel. Both officers have denied wrongdoing.
Noor trial: Closing arguments done, case goes to jury
By Riham Feshir, Jon Collins and Brandt Williams Minnesota Public Radio
Apr 30, 2019 Updated 27 min ago
Prosecutors and defense attorneys finished their closing arguments Monday in the trial of Mohamed Noor, leaving jurors to decide the fate of the ex-Minneapolis officer charged in the killing of 911 caller Justine Ruszczyk.
Noor is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Ruszczyk, who’d called to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home on July 15, 2017.
She was shot and killed by Noor, one of the officers responding to her call that night.
In her closing arguments Monday, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Amy Sweasy emphasized the tragic circumstances around the killing.
She highlighted inconsistencies in testimony between Noor and his partner that night, officer Matthew Harrity, especially on the question of whether Harrity had problems drawing his gun. “They both can’t be right,” she said.
Sweasy pointed out that officers at the scene kept looking for a reason for the shooting. Then “silence started to set in.”
She told the jury that the Noor case was “tragedy compounded” atop tragedy and offered “absolutely no recovery and no healing ... Ms. Ruszczyk, 40 years old, is gone.”
Defense attorney Thomas Plunkett began his closing remarks by smacking a courtroom table, shouting and pointing his finger as if firing a gun.
“That’s the whole case right there,” he said.
Noor’s defense attorneys have argued through the trial that he fired to protect his terrified partner after hearing a thump on the squad and then seeing a figure by the driver’s side window raising an arm.
Prosecutors say the thump was a story made up later and that Ruszczyk, approaching the squad in her pajamas, could not have been considered a threat.
Plunkett told jurors the prosecution provided “lots of testimony but not necessarily a lot of evidence” to convict Noor. “Regardless of your decision, Mr. Noor is going to have to live with the fact that he took an innocent life. He will have to live with that. It’s a tragedy but it’s not a crime.”
Judge Kathryn Quaintance told the jurors they should consider whether Noor was justified in using deadly force based on what he knew when he fired his gun.
The jury has been sequestered.
Really a threat?
Ruszczyk’s death sent shock waves across the United States and her home country of Australia. Some of her family members flew to Minnesota and have attended every day of the lengthy trial, watching from the gallery as police body camera videos of her last moments were presented, and as Noor took the stand to testify in his own defense.
Both sides used closing arguments to stitch together pieces of evidence they’ve presented the jury the past few weeks to craft a narrative arguing for or against the charges.
Last week, the defense called two of Ruszczyk’s neighbors to the stand, who testified they heard noises in the area around the same time. One woman said she heard what sounded like a garbage can falling, then a pop.
The testimonies give credence to the defense’s argument that Noor and his partner heard a thump that startled them.
On Monday, though, the prosecution described the bang on the car as a theory that originated with other officers who arrived at the scene and were struggling to understand how the shooting could have happened.
She said neither officer mentioned a noise until Noor’s partner talked with state investigators three days later, and there was no conclusive proof Ruszczyk ever touched the car.
Last week, Sweasy pressed Noor on the stand when he testified that he shot at a “threat” to protect his partner.
“The whole blonde hair, pink T-shirt and all is a threat to you?” she asked.
Noor repeatedly said he was protecting his partner, acted according to his training and that he considered the totality of circumstances: the thump, potential for ambush, and a person raising her arm.
His testimony was supported by the defense expert witness, Emanuel Kapelsohn, who testified that officers don’t have time to give commands before a suspect shoots.
“If you wait to see the gun appear,” Kapelsohn said, “you’re going to be shot with it.”
Prosecutors challenged his credibility and questioned him in length about a case in Milwaukee where he testified against a police officer who used deadly force on a man who was resisting arrest.
Kapelsohn also told the jury the only way the shot would’ve cleared the bottom of the open driver’s side window was with Noor rising up off of his seat, extending his right arm and shooting.
Outside the presence of the jury, prosecutor Patrick Lofton said last week the evidence goes to the intent and credibility of Noor who’s been presented as “a hero saving Harrity.”
Prosecutors have presented forensic evidence that showed Ruszczyk’s fingerprints weren’t found on the squad car, suggesting she never made contact with it, therefore giving the officers no reason to be startled.
They called two use of force experts who were critical of Noor. Former Charlottesville, Va., police chief Tim Longo said Noor’s actions were unreasonable.
“At the end of the day,” he said of Ruszczyk, “this is a citizen who called the police seeking a public service, who has every right to go out (to the squad) and be sure that her community is safe.”
The charges against Noor when taken together are complex.
As courtroom attorneys seek to prove or disprove one charge, they undermine the case regarding another.
For example: Noor testified he rose up from his seat, put his left arm on his partner’s chest, presumably to protect him, and extended his right arm to fire at a specific person who he described clearly as a blonde woman in a pink shirt. This defends him against the third-degree murder charge, which has an element of a depraved mind. That is, someone shooting without knowing who their target is.
It doesn’t help his defense against the second-degree, intentional murder, although as a police officer, he was authorized to use deadly force in certain situations. Protecting a partner would be one of those situations.
In closing arguments, the prosecution, however, could argue that the intentional act of shooting a 911 caller was negligent.
The prosecution has presented evidence to show no gunshot residue was found on Harrity’s uniform. Noor testified that he was trained to fire until the threat was gone. But he also said he got out of the squad car and, with Harrity, helped Ruszczyk to the ground.
Prosecutors seized on that to try and prove recklessness, which also goes to unintentional murder, as well as the manslaughter count.
The jury could have a hard time dissecting each of these counts, and doing it while weighing testimony from several police officers and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents the prosecution criticized for the way they investigated the case.
The second-degree murder and third-degree murder charges are tough to prove, said criminal defense attorney Marsh Halberg, especially against a police officer.
Halberg, who attended most of the trial proceedings, said the defense has painted a vivid picture of two police officers worried about their safety — a “you weren’t there” kind of situation.
“Had it been a firearm, he would’ve been a hero because he would’ve saved his partner’s life,” Halberg said. “Generally people are supportive of law enforcement.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Minnesota Public Radio News can be heard at KZSE 91.7 FM in the Rochester area, or go online to MPRnews.org.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — After about a day of deliberation, a jury has found Mohamed Noor, the former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017, guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in her death.
A day after attorneys made closing arguments, a jury of 10 men and two women declared their verdict for the 33-year-old officer Tuesday afternoon.
Damond, a 40-year-old dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia, called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home minutes before she was shot.
On Monday morning, Attorney Amy Sweasy delivered closing arguments for the prosecution.
In part, she said no recovering or healing can be done because Damond is dead. She said mistakes were made and that Noor acted recklessly with intent to kill. The attorney added that Noor’s inexperience led to Damond’s death.
On the other hand, the defense attorney’s closing arguments were dramatic. Defense attorney Thomas Plunkett yelled and slammed his hands on the desk, saying that’s how fast Noor had to react.
He asked the jury to judge Noor only by his actions in that moment because that’s all that matters.
Throughout the trial, the defense has argued that Noor and his partner, Matthew Harrity, were spooked by a thump or noise on their squad car — possibly Damond hitting the squad as she walked up.
During his testimony, Noor explained how he heard his partner yell “oh Jesus” and reach for his gun.
“My partner feared for his life. He turned with fear in his eyes, he looked toward me and his gun was caught in his holster,” Noor said. “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”
Following the shooting, Noor said he felt his “whole world come tumbling down.”
“I couldn’t breathe. It’s like paralysis,” Noor said. “If I had known this was going to happen, I would never have been a cop.”
Prosecutors have questioned the supposed noise, noting investigators didn’t find forensic evidence of Damond’s fingerprints on the car.
Marsh Halberg, a former prosecutor and well-known defense attorney, sat through much of the testimony. He says Minnesota law allows for the use of deadly force if an officer perceives a threat.
“You don’t have to perceive an actual danger, it’s an apparent danger,” Halberg said.
In Noor’s partner’s testimony, Harrity explained to the jury how he thought the thump could be a possible ambush. He admitted he thought of his safety first.
Harrity then said he heard a “very mellow pop and saw a flash.” He said it sounded like a light bulb being dropped to the ground. Harrity said he didn’t know if he was shot but determined he was OK.
Harrity’s body camera footage was shown during the testimony. Damond can be heard in the video saying, “I’m dead, I’m dying.”
Harrity told Noor to holster his gun and began giving Damond CPR. At one point in the video, Noor gives CPR as Harrity instructs him. Harrity is heard saying, “Keep fighting, ma’am. Stay with us.”
Harrity testified their body cameras were not initially turned on the night of the shooting because Harrity said he didn’t think policy warranted it.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified that both Harrity and Noor should have turned on their body cameras when responding to the call for help.
LIVE: Jury reaches verdict in Mohamed Noor trial KARE 11
Streamed live 22 minutes ago
The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor over the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. They found Noor guilty of 3rd-degree murder and manslaughter, but not guilty of 2nd-degree murder.
After about a day of deliberation, a jury has found Mohamed Noor, the former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot Justine Ruszczyk Damond in 2017, guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in her death.
The jury has reached a verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor over the shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. They found Noor guilty of 3rd-degree murder and manslaughter, but not guilty of 2nd-degree murder.
Minneapolis agrees to pay $20 million in death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond
By andy mannix, Star Tribune
25 mins ago
The city of Minneapolis will pay the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond a record $20 million to settle a lawsuit over her July 15, 2017 shooting death by a Minneapolis police officer, city officials announced Friday.
Mayor Jacob Frey announced the agreement solemnly at a hastily organized press conference Friday, flanked by City Council members, the city attorney and the police chief, all of whom had been in a closed-door meeting this morning. The deal requires the family to donate $2 million of its settlement to the Minneapolis Foundation's Fund for Safe Communities, a program set up to fight gun violence in the city, Frey said
"This is not a victory for anyone, but rather a way for our city to move forward," said Frey. "And I do believe we will move forward together."
The payout is more than quadruple the previous record for a police-related settlement in the state of Minnesota.
Activists have alleged the case has been treated differently than other police shootings because the officer, Mohamed Noor, is a black man and Damond was a white woman.
Asked if the racial or gender dynamic played a role in the decision, Frey said, "Every claim and every case brings forward a different set of circumstances."
Justine Ruszczyk Damond was fatally shot by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor on July 15, 2017, after she had called 911. More The Ruszczyk family filed its lawsuit in July 2018, asking for $50 million in compensation for the violation of Damond's constitutional rights. The suit claimed Noor and his partner conspired to cover up evidence by not turning on their body-worn cameras and later hiding behind a "blue wall of silence."
Noor was fired from the force and convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter by a Hennepin County jury on Tuesday.
Frey said the trial made clear that the officer did not face a threat before using force. This fact, combined with the unprecedented murder conviction, influenced the high settlement, the mayor said.
Earlier Friday, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the settlement, and Frey said he planned to sign off on it promptly.
Legal settlements are typically paid out of Minneapolis' self-insurance fund.
In comparison, the city paid $4.5 million in 2007 to Duy Ngo, a police officer shot by another officer who mistook him for a fleeing suspect. In another case, it paid $3 million to the family of David Smith, who died after a struggle with police at the YMCA in 2010. The city of St. Anthony paid $3 million to the mother of Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in 2016.