The former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor who killed an unarmed Australian woman named Justine Damond in July of 2017, was found guilty of third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. He is facing 30 years in prison.Now it has been reported Damond’s family will receive a settlement of 20 million, which is nearly seven times larger than Philando Castile’s family.
The Associated Press reports, “Minneapolis will pay $20 million to the family of an unarmed woman shot by a police officer after she called 911 to report a possible crime, city leaders announced Friday — a move that comes just three days after the former officer was convicted of murder. The settlement reached with the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia, is believed to be the largest stemming from police violence in the state of Minnesota.”
Castile was shot and killed on July 6, 2016. He died on Facebook Live with his girlfriend and her daughter in the backseat. He was only 33 years old. The officer was acquitted of all charges. The family revived a settlement of $3 million from Minnesota, according to the New York Times.
Mohamed Noor, the 33-year-old Somali-American spoke out for the first time during the trial last week, using the same defense many cops who shot and killed unarmed people have used — he was in fear for him and his partner, Matthew Harrity.
Noor said he saw a woman in a pink shirt with blond hair outside of his partner’s window, prompting him to yell, “Oh Jesus!” Noor claimed the woman raised her right arm. “I fired one shot,” he said before adding, “My intent was to stop the threat and save my partner’s life.”
He said he immediately realized he had shot an innocent woman.
“I felt like my whole world came crashing down. I couldn’t breathe,” explained Noor who cried on the stand.
Noor also explained his “counter-ambush” training, which is a mock scenario where two officers are in a squad car and an instructor yells “Threat!” The officers make a quick decision about whether to shoot.
“Action is better than reaction,” Noor insisted. “If you’re reacting, that means it’s too late … to protect yourself. … You die.”
The Associated Press reported that the prosecution “pounced on that during her cross-examination, asking Noor if he believed ‘concern’ was enough to fire his weapon. Noor said it was when looking at all the circumstances and to protect himself and Harrity from death or great bodily harm. [Prosecutor Amy] Sweasy also attacked Noor for making a quick decision without being able to see Damond’s hands, or whether she was carrying a weapon or a cellphone.”
Noor became a police officer in 2016.
On the evening of July 15, 2017, around 11:30 p.m., Damond, 40, called 911 to report a possible assault near her house. Harrity and Noor were the officers who arrived on the scene.
The officer’s body cameras weren’t on and there isn’t a video of the shooting.
Noor will be sentenced June 7.