Justine Damond's family seek $200M damages from police, city over her death

They're suing the officer who killed her, the police department and the city.
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Justine Damond

The family of Justine Damond is seeking $200 million in damages over the 40-year-old's death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer last year.

The lawsuit filed on Monday includes among the defendants the officer who shot her, Mohammed Noor, his partner Matthew Harrity, former Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau, current chief Medaria Arradondo, the Minneapolis Police Department and the City of Minneapolis.

Damond's father, John Ruszczyk, claims they violated the 4th and 14th Amendments when his daughter was shot dead by Noor, as he and Harrity responded to a possible sexual assault she had reported outside her home on July 15, 2017.

The lawsuit alleges both Noor and Harrity were "inexperienced" officers, with Noor having come through an MPD police cadet program that fast-tracks trainees into the force.

Meanwhile Harrity was just 25 years old at the time of Damond's death, with the suit noting that 4 citizen complaints had been made against Noor and 2 against Harriety prior to the shooting.

It goes on to say Minneapolis PD only conducted one psychological test to screen the pair before they became full-fledged officers, arguing that multiple tests are required to determine fitness for duty.

It accuses the two officers of violating Damond's civil rights – and the rights of anyone in the alleyway the night she was shot – by failing to activate their body cameras until after the shooting. 

In not activating the cameras, the suit claims Noor and Harrity conspired to conceal the truth about Damond's killing.

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Noor has claimed the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination since the shooting, meaning only Harrity's version of events has been taken down, which the Damond family argues is a "fictitious" version.

The City of Minneapolis, meanwhile, has shown "deliberate indifference" to the rights of citizens in failing to ensure police officers are fit for duty.

Meanwhile the MPD's "continued failure to discipline officers ... caused MPD police officers to act with impunity and without due regard for the Constitution and laws of the United States."

Noor is currently awaiting trial on charges of 3rd degree murder and second degree manslaughter in Damond's death.

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