Andy Mannix, Star Tribune, May 3, 2019
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
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.”
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.