Family of Australian woman who was shot by a Minneapolis police officer outside her home say George Floyd’s death has confirmed their worst fears
- Justine Ruszczyk was shot dead by Minneapolis officer Mohamed Noor in 2017
- Her family said worst fears have come true following the death of George Floyd
- Mr Floyd was pinned down for nine minutes by officer Derek Chauvin on Monday
- He was filmed gasping for air saying ‘I can’t breathe’ before dying in custody
Justine Ruszcyzk was shot dead by police officer Mohamed Noor in 2017
The family of Justine Ruszczyk Australian family who was shot by a police officer outside her home fear that the changes they had hoped for have not been made following the death of George Floyd.
Ms Ruszczyk, a 40-year-old life coach and yoga instructor originally from Sydney, was shot dead by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor in 2017. She had called 911 after hearing a woman’s screams near an alley behind her home.
When she approached Noor’s vehicle he shot her in the stomach.
Noor is serving a 12.5-year prison sentence for killing Ms Ruszcyzk.
Mr Floyd died last week during an arrest on a Minneapolis street after he was suspected of using a counterfeit $20 note at a store.
Video by bystanders showed Mr Floyd face down, handcuffed and one of four police officers, Derek Chauvin, using a knee to pin Mr Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.
Officer Derek Chauvin (pictured) was identified as the officer pinning down George Floyd in video footage that was widely shared last week
Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, sparking violent protests across the US.
The Ruszczyks aimed for a transformational result that would tear down the ‘blue wall of silence’ among officers and force change within the city’s troubled police department.
The Ruszczyks and their lawyer Bob Bennett said Mr Floyd’s death showed the changes they hoped for had not happened.
‘The fact nobody tried to intervene shows exactly the attitude about the blue wall,’ Mr Bennett said.
‘Not one brick of it has been torn down.’
The Ruszczyks, in a statement released last week, said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Police Chief Medaria Arradondo told them last year they would work to change the culture and behaviour of officers.
‘The fact that another person has died at the hands of the Minneapolis police using excessive force shows that they have not made adequate changes to their practices and training as we had been told they would after Justine’s murder,’ the Ruszczyks said.
Jhe Ruszczyks aimed for a transformational result that would tear down the ‘blue wall of silence’ among officers (Pictured: Parents of Ms Ruszcyzyk John Ruszczyk and Marian Hefferen arrive to read a statement in front of the media in Sydney, December 21, 2017)
Mr Bennett expects a similar payout to Mr Floyd’s family stating it ‘is not exactly politically correct’ if the payout isn’t in line with Ms Ruszczyks.
‘It would be hard to think it was worth less unless you want to say a black man isn’t worth as much as a white, blonde, young, attractive woman,’ he said.
The Ruszczyks originally filed a $US50 million ($A75 million) civil lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis.
The city settled for $US20 million ($A30 million) three days after the criminal trial where a jury found Noor guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in 2019.
Mr Bennett said Justine’s father John and brother Jason were ‘principled and tough’ in negotiations with the city.