The $20 million settlement to be paid by the city of Minneapolis to the family of police-shooting victim Justine Ruszczyk Damond, more than quadruple the previous record for a police-related settlement in Minnesota, will drain the city’s self-insurance fund, the Star Tribune reports. The agreement came just days after fired Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor was convicted of third-degree murder for shooting Damond over a mistaken belief that she posed a threat to him and his partner.
The payout dwarfs the compensation awarded to families of those who have become household names in the national movement for police accountability — among them Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile — which activists were quick to cite as evidence of a racial double standard in the justice system, suggesting the outcome would have been different if the officer was not a black man and the victim not a young white woman. The New York Times reports that the settlement previously believed to be the highest in the nation was the $18 million paid by Chicago to the family of LaTanya Haggerty, an African-American woman, in 1999. But nationwide, the vast majority of families who lose someone in a questionable police shooting get nothing, experts said.