Fact Check: Justine 'Diamond' Family Did NOT Receive A $55 Million Settlement In Minneapolis Police Shooting -- The Justine Damond Family Got $20 Million

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Justine 'Diamond' Family Did NOT Receive A $55 Million Settlement In Minneapolis Police Shooting -- The Justine Damond Family Got $20 Million 20 not 55

Did the family of Justine "Diamond" receive a $55 million settlement after she was fatally shot by a police officer while unarmed? No, that's not true: the family of Justine Damond actually reached a $20 million settlement agreement with the city of Minneapolis.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) where it was published on September 20, 2020. The Facebook post (which misspells her last name) opens:

"""Source: Black Diaspora:

Meet Justine Diamond (left). She is an AUSTRALIAN -AMERICAN who was gunned down by a Minneapolis police officer (who was black) as she approached a squad car. Her killer Mohammed Noor was promptly arrested, tried and convicted. Not only that. The family of Justine Diamond was awarded $55,000,000 in a settlement.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Thu Sep 24 12:57:14 2020 UTC)

On a July night in Minneapolis in 2017, Damond, a white woman, called 911 because she thought she heard someone in a nearby alley screaming. Mohamed Noor, a Black police officer, arrived to the alley with another officer and reported that the scene was safe. At some point before the Noor and his colleague pulled away, Damond emerged from her home unarmed and was shot by Noor. Noor said he heard a loud bang and claimed to have thought Damond may be armed.

Noor was later tried and convicted of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. In June 2019, he was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison.

Many in the city of Minneapolis were particularly outraged by the guilty verdict in the Damond case because it was coming off the back of the fatal shootings by police of two Black men in Minnesota, Philando Castile and Jamar Clark, in which the officer on trial for the shooting of Castile was found not guilty and the officers involved in the shooting of Clark did not receive any disciplinary action. The history of police shootings in Minnesota prompted many to ask how things may have been different if Noor was not Black and if Damond had not been white.

The Facebook post that claimed that Damond received a $55 million settlement -- actually $20 million-- put that settlement in contrast with the $12 million settlement the family of Breonna Taylor received from the city of Louisville after Taylor, a Black woman, was fatally shot by police while sleeping in her home:

Now let's meet Breonna Taylor. Ms. Taylor was an AFRICAN American, who was killed in a botched raid. She was KILLED IN HER SLEEP. Her then home, was WRONGFULLY IDENTIFIED as a drug house. This, oversight we'll call it, was missed by the judge who signed the warrant, the detectives who set it up, the police / SWAT commanders who designed the raid and the officers who killed her. Subsequently, justice for Breonna Taylor has not materialized. OH BUT WAIT...the Taylor family has been "generously " offered a $12,000,000 settlement by Louisville's police department.

Two women, killed wrongly by those sworn to protect. But a $40,000,000 gap in how their lives are VALUED. But "ALL LIVES MATTER" right? Just not the same apparently. But it gets better... Not only that, but one's killer is in jail ...the other's killer is clocking in for work as we speak.

On September 23, 2020, the Breonna Taylor case met a similar fate as Castile and Clark, spurring this Facebook post to go viral. The Kentucky grand jury indicted a since fired officer, Brett Hankison, on three counts of 1st-degree wanton endangerment for firing several bullets that ended up in an apartment next to Taylor's. No officer was charged in connection with the shooting of Taylor.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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