The family of an Australian woman fatally shot by a police officer in Minneapolis last year has filed a multimillion lawsuit against the officer who fired the fatal shot, along with his partner, the police department, and the city.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Justine Damond, 40, was shot and killed by Minneapolis police officer Mohammed Noor in June 2017 after Noor and his partner responded to Damond’s 911 call of a possible assault in an alley behind her home.
Damond, an Australian, was set to marry her American boyfriend the following month. She was reportedly in her pajamas when the officers arrived to the scene. Officer Noor fired at her from through the window of the passenger side of the squad car, after he was reportedly startled by a woman who put her hand on the police car. It is not known if Damond was that woman, but she was unarmed and there is no indication that she posed a threat.
Neither Noor, who is no longer with the force and is facing murder charges, or his partner Officer Matthew Harrity activated their bodycams before the fatal shooting, as is required by protocol.
According to court filings obtained by the Associated Press, Damond’s family is seeking $50 million in damages as a result of her death. The lawsuit accuses the officers of concocting a story to cover up Damond’s killing, and claims they willfully chose not to turn on their bodycams.
“Had they done so, there would be video and audio recording of the fatal shooting of Justine, and Harrity and Noor would not be free to concoct a story in a vain attempt to insulate Noor from civil and criminal liability,” the lawsuit reportedly states.
Robert Bennett, the family’s attorney, told Fox News that the officers had no reason to be intimidated by Damond or fear for their own safety.
“They shouldn’t be police officers. They shouldn’t have guns. They should go do something else, not be police officers with guns in the Fulton neighborhood,” Bennett said.
The lawsuit is reportedly critical of how the city of Minneapolis trains its police officers, and for an alleged lack of transparency within the police department.
In a statement, Damond’s father said that he wants to see changes in the police department to the extent necessary to stop such senseless acts from happening again and again.”
Former officer Noor is due in court in September.