MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Friday afternoon that the city had reached a settlement with the family of Justine Ruszczyk Damond totaling $20 million. This is the largest police settlement in Minneapolis history.
Of that, $18 million is earmarked for the family, and another $2 million goes to the Fund for Safe Communities at the Minneapolis Foundation. The fund is a program to fight gun violence in the city.
“It was a priority for the city council and the mayor that part of this settlement include funds to be invested to address other issues of police violence in our communities,” said Lisa Bender, president of the Minneapolis City Council.
The Ruszczyk family says they wanted the amount of the settlement to be “transformational.” The money used to pay the Ruszczyk family will come from the city’s self-insurance fund.
“This is not a victory for anyone, but rather a way for our city to move forward,” said Mayor Jacob Frey.
Ruszczyk Damond was shot and killed by then-officer Mohamed Noor in 2017. Earlier this week, a jury found Noor guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Mayor Frey along with Bob Bennett, the attorney for the Ruszczyk family, said they don’t believe race or gender played a role in the record settlement. Bennett told reporters that every case and every circumstance is different.
The Minneapolis Police Federation also released a statement, saying: “The Federation commends city leadership on reaching a quick settlement, and moving forward in the healing process. We strongly disagree on some blanket statements made by council members on the false narrative of police violence. This was an isolated incident, and we have an excellent police force.”