Justine Damond was shot dead by a police officer in Minneapolis. Picture: Stephen Govel.
Justine Damond was shot dead by a police officer in Minneapolis. Picture: Stephen Govel.

Justine Damond’s family to file lawsuit

THE family of Australian life coach Justine Damond Ruszczyk, who was shot dead by a Minneapolis police officer, will file a civil lawsuit in the US.

If successful, the lawsuit could result in a multimillion-dollar payout to her family.

The family's lawyer, Bob Bennett, a specialist in representing victims of police shootings in Minnesota, is expected to file the civil rights complaint in the US Federal Court in Minneapolis today.

Justine Damond Ruszczyk and her fiance Don Damond lived together for two years before her death. Picture: Supplied.
Justine Damond Ruszczyk and her fiance Don Damond lived together for two years before her death. Picture: Supplied.

Damond Ruszczyk, 40, formerly of Sydney, was dressed in her pyjamas at her Minneapolis home just before midnight on July 15 last year when she heard what she feared was a woman being raped.

She called police and when a squad car arrived in an alley behind her house she approached it in the darkness.

Family, friends and well wishers of Justine Damond Ruszczyk gathered at Freshwater Beach to remember her in a sunrise vigil, on the anniversary of her death. Her father John Ruszczyk middle left, wearing scarf) and stepmother Maryan Heffernan (in red jacket).
Family, friends and well wishers of Justine Damond Ruszczyk gathered at Freshwater Beach to remember her in a sunrise vigil, on the anniversary of her death. Her father John Ruszczyk middle left, wearing scarf) and stepmother Maryan Heffernan (in red jacket).

Mohamed Noor, who is no longer a police officer, was allegedly sitting in the front passenger seat of the police vehicle, shot across his partner and out the window at Damond Ruszczyk.

The bullet hit her in the stomach and she died at the scene.

Noor has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Former Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor arrives at Hennepin County Government Center for an omnibus hearing. Picture: Angus Mordant.
Former Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor arrives at Hennepin County Government Center for an omnibus hearing. Picture: Angus Mordant.

Damond Ruszcz's US fiance, Don Damond, and family and friends last week held vigils in Minneapolis and Sydney to commemorate the first anniversary of her death.

Damond told the gathering in Minneapolis that the pain he has endured was unimaginable.



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