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Justine Damond's family to file lawsuit

Justine Damond's devastated Australian family are poised to file a massive civil lawsuit in the US courts against the City of Minneapolis and the police officer who shot her dead.
Ms Damond's family have hired one of Minnesota's top trial lawyers, Robert Bennett, who says claims the policeman felt he was being ambushed were ludicrous.
Officer Mohammad Noor shot Ms Damond from the passenger front seat of his police car, shooting across his partner Matthew Harrity and through the open window.
Officer Harrity's lawyer, Fred Bruno, told the Minneapolis StarTribune it's reasonable to assume any police officer would be concerned about being ambushed.
"It was only a few weeks ago when a female NYPD cop and mother of twins was executed in her car in a very similar scenario," Mr Bruno said.
Mr Bennett described the ambush claim as a "ludicrous" manufactured defence theory.
"You are ambushed by a person who called 911 who is a blonde woman in her pyjamas for crying out loud?" Mr Bennett said.
Mr Bennett said the common thread in police shooting cases he has been involved in is a "panicky officer".
"The officer who sees things that aren't there and is afraid of things that go bump in the night," Mr Bennett said.
"Justine is not a threatening appearing person."
Sydney-raised Ms Damond, 40, called the 911 emergency number twice on Saturday around 11.30pm after hearing what she feared was a woman screaming while being sexually assaulted behind her home in one of Minneapolis' safest suburbs.
Ms Damond called her American fiance Don Damond several times alarmed by the sounds and a decision was made to call the police, the lawyer said.
"I can hear someone out the back and I, I'm not sure if she's having sex or being raped," Ms Damond told the 911 operator, according to a transcript released by police on Wednesday.
"I think she just yelled out 'help', but it's difficult the sound has been going on for a while, but I think, I don't think she's enjoying it."
Soon after the police squad car containing Officer Noor, who joined the force two years earlier, and Officer Harrity, a one-year rookie, pulled into the alley behind her home with their vehicle's lights off.
Officer Harrity told investigators he heard a loud sound that startled him just before Ms Damond, dressed in her pyjamas and holding a mobile phone, came to his driver's side car window.
Mr Bennett hopes the shooting death of the vivacious, peace-loving spiritual healer could finally force action into stopping America's rampant police shootings of innocent people.
"We have to stop it here," Mr Bennett, who also represented the family of Minnesota man Philando Castile after he was gunned down by a policeman last year, told AAP on Wednesday.
"This can be the clarion call."
A lawsuit involving "significant potential civil damages" is how "you make them sit up and take notice", the lawyer said.
The family wants Noor to lose his job and they also have a list of changes to police protocols, the use of body cameras and training methods.
Her Sydney family issued a statement on Thursday, saying they are in constant contact with Minnesota authorities and the Australian government.
"We want to see the investigation come to a conclusion, as soon as possible, so we have some resolution to the tragedy," the statement said.
"All we want to do is bring Justine home to Australia to farewell her in her hometown among family and friends."
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