Minneapolis reaches $20M settlement with family of unarmed woman fatally shot after calling 911

Follwing the conviction of a former Minneapolis police officer in the 2017 fatal shooting of an unarmed woman, city leaders on Friday said they’ve reached a settlement with her family and will pay them $20 million.

Former Officer Mohamed Noor was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday in the death of Justine Damond, 40, who was shot after she called 911 to report a possible rape.

Information about the settlement was provided by Mayor Jacob Frey and city council members, who described the resolution as a way for the city to move on, The Associated Press reported.

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

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FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2017, file photo, Johanna Morrow plays the didgeridoo during a memorial service for Justine Ruszczyk Damond at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. The city of Minneapolis is paying $20 million to settle a lawsuit over former police officer Mohamed Noor's fatal shooting of the unarmed Damond who approached his squad car after calling 911 to report a possible crime. Mayor Jacob Frey announced the settlement Friday, May 3, 2019, three days after a jury convicted Noor of murder and manslaughter in the 2017 death of Damond. Frey called the settlement "a way for our city to move forward."

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2017, file photo, Johanna Morrow plays the didgeridoo during a memorial service for Justine Ruszczyk Damond at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. The city of Minneapolis is paying $20 million to settle a lawsuit over former police officer Mohamed Noor's fatal shooting of the unarmed Damond who approached his squad car after calling 911 to report a possible crime. Mayor Jacob Frey announced the settlement Friday, May 3, 2019, three days after a jury convicted Noor of murder and manslaughter in the 2017 death of Damond. Frey called the settlement "a way for our city to move forward." (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP, File)

In 2017, Damond, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia, had called 911 to report a possible rape near her home. Noor and his partner were driving down the alley behind the woman's residence and checking out the call just before the shooting. Noor testified that a loud bang on the squad car scared his partner and that he saw a woman raising her arm appear at his partner's window. He fired to protect his partner from a perceived threat, he said.

Noor lost his job with the police department after charges were filed against him.

He was found this week guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, the jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder.

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The slain woman’s family initially sued for more than $50 million on the claim that there had been a violation of her civil rights, The Associated Press reported.

Noor was found this week guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, the jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder. 

Noor was found this week guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, the jury found him not guilty of second-degree murder.  (Leila Navidi/Star Tribune via AP, File)

The family’s attorney, Bob Bennett, also spoke about the settlement, saying “that it required good faith negotiations on everyone’s part.”

He added that his clients were only interested in coming to the agreement “if the amount of the settlement itself was transformational.”

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“So this is an unmistakable message to change the Minneapolis Police Department in ways that will help all its communities,” he said.

The settlement, which will be paid by the city's self-insurance fund, reportedly calls for Damond's family to donate $2 million to a local foundation's fund aimed at addressing gun violence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.