US city to pay $30m after cop shoots unarmed Australian woman

The family of the unarmed Australian woman murdered by a US police officer will get a US$20 million (NZ$30.2m) settlement.

Mohamed Noor shot Australian life coach Justine Ruszczyk Damond in July 2017, after she approached his squad car just minutes after she called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her house.

Testifying in court, Noor said he felt he had no other choice but to shoot in the moments after a "loud bang" on his squad car made him fear a possible ambush. He said he saw a woman raising her arm and feared she could have had a weapon.

However a jury found him guilty of third degree murder and guilty on second-degree manslaughter earlier this week.

The death of Damond, who was engaged to be married a month after the shooting, sparked outrage in both the US and Australia, cost Minneapolis' police chief her job and contributed to the electoral defeat of the city's mayor a few months later.

Now the City of Minneapolis has agreed to settle with Damond's grieving family, which had filed a civil lawsuit seeking over US$50 million.

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

"I do believe that we will move forward together, united in the shared belief that such a tragedy should never occur in our city."

The settlement will be paid by the city's self-insurance fund. It's believed to be the largest settlement resulting from police violence in the state of Minnesota.

Damond's family has agreed to donate US$2 million of it to a local foundation to address gun violence.



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