Minnesota police settlements, by the numbers

Updated: May 3, 2019 | Posted: June 26, 2017

The settlement between the Justine Ruszczyk family and the city of Minneapolis for $20 million after former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor fatally shot her in 2017 is the largest in city history.

A jury convicted Noor of murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Ruszczyk, who was also known as Justine Damond. She had called police the night of July 15, 2017 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her Minneapolis home.

According to the settlement, the family will donate $2 million to a safe communities fund.

It is not the first time cities have paid settlements to settle police officer misconduct cases.

Prior to Friday's settlement with the Ruszczyk family, the city of Minneapolis had paid out more than $24 million in police misconduct related settlements, claims and judgments since 2003, according to an MPR News database.

The nearly $3 million settlement agreement announced in June 2017 involving the family of Philando Castile and the city of St. Anthony Village ranked among the highest payouts stemming from police officer conduct.

The largest known payout in the state is $4.5 million, made in 2007 by the city of Minneapolis to Duy Ngo. Ngo was a Minneapolis police officer shot by another officer while on duty.

Ngo was seriously injured and had to leave the department. He took his own life in 2010.

In 2013, Minneapolis paid $3,075,000 to the family of David Smith, who died after being restrained by two police officers.

According to court documents Smith, 28, was acting erratically at the downtown YMCA. Two police officers responded to a call from employees at the gym and after a struggle, placed Smith on his stomach with his hands cuffed behind him.

Documents also say one of the officers continually drove his knee into Smith's back. Officers called for medical assistance when they noticed Smith had stopped breathing. Smith was revived but died about a week later without gaining consciousness.

In 2011, Minneapolis was ordered by a jury to pay $2.1 million in damages and attorney fees in the case of Dominic Felder who was shot and killed by two Minneapolis police officers.

Felder's family said he was experiencing a mental health breakdown when he was confronted by officers Jason King and Lawrence Loonsfoot in 2006. The officers claimed Felder grabbed one of the officer's guns before they opened fire on him.

Earlier this year, the city of St. Paul paid a $2 million settlement to Frank Baker, who was mauled by a police dog in 2016.

Chaska settled a lawsuit earlier this month for $1.7 million filed on behalf of Dawn Pfister, who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2015.

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