Minneapolis settles lawsuit with family of George Floyd for $ 27 million
The city of Minneapolis has reached a $ 27 million settlement with the family of George Floyd, whose death sparked global protests against racial injustice, in one of the highest settlements on record for police misconduct.
The settlement, approved by members of city council in a closed session, ends a civil lawsuit brought by members of Floyd’s family. A separate criminal case is proceed against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis cop who was charged with the murder of Floyd.
Floyd’s family and their attorney, Benjamin Crump, were joined at a press conference Friday by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and city council. Crump praised them for the “historic” settlement.
“It’s not enough for America to say ‘Black Lives Matter’, we have to show that black lives matter through our actions,” he said. “So the team is very grateful to Mayor Frey and City Council for not just saying you care about George Floyd, but showing you care about George Floyd.
“It makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020,” he added.
Crump said $ 500,000 from the colony would be used to help the historically black neighborhood where Floyd was killed.
Floyd’s sister Bridgett Floyd said in a statement the family suffered “irreplaceable loss” but was delighted that “this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved”.
“While we will never find our beloved George, we will continue to work tirelessly to make this world a better and safer place for all,” she said.
Floyd was killed on May 25 while in police custody. Video footage captured by a spectator showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while other officers called to the scene did not intervene. A 911 caller summoned police after Floyd was suspected of using a fake $ 20 bill.
Floyd’s death broke out protests across the country and, in some cases, riots. Protesters marched through the streets all summer. In Minneapolis, they occupied the intersection where Floyd was killed, 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, isolating it from traffic and declaring it an “autonomous zone.”
In addition to the civil lawsuit against the city, Chauvin is charged with second and third degree murder and second degree manslaughter. Jury selection in his trial began on Tuesday.
Three other police officers who were at the scene and who did not intervene to arrest Chauvin are accused of aiding and abetting second degree murder and second degree manslaughter.
All of the officers pleaded not guilty.
Cases with equally high settlements in the order of $ 20 million include the murder by a Minneapolis police officer of a white woman and an officer shooting and killing a handcuffed black man in Prince Georges County, Maryland .
Civil rights attorney Jon Loevy, who was not involved in the Floyd case, said the settlement was “unusually important” and reflected a gradual increase in settlements and verdicts for police misconduct, the Black movement Lives Matter that brought the issue to the attention of the public.
“Would you like to go and defend the accused?” he said. “[The city] obviously realized they had to pay.