The Minneapolis City Council has unanimously approved $27 million in settlement for the family of George Floyd, a black man whose death in police custody in May last year sparked nationwide unrest and global condemnation of police brutality and treatment of Black suspects.
The settlement comes just weeks before the scheduled trial of Derek Chauvin, the fired Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in George Floyd’s death.
Derek Chauvin was seen in a May 25 viral video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for about nine minutes while a handcuffed Floyd cried, “I can’t breathe” and called out for his mother. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, as well as third-degree murder.
The three other officers involved – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, are charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter of aiding and abetting. Chauvin and all the three officers were fired the day after Floyd’s death.
The settlement follows a July 2020 federal lawsuit filed by Floyd’s family against the city and the four officers involved in the arrest that led to the death of George Floyd. The settlement includes a $500,000 contribution from Floyd’s family to the community at the intersection of 38th and Chicago Avenue, now called George Floyd Square, according to the report.
“I do want to on behalf of the entire City Council, offer my deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd, his friends and all in our community who are mourning his loss,’ said Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender. “No amount of money can ever address the intense pain or trauma caused by this death to George Floyd’s family or to the people of our city.”
Benjamin Crump, the attorney representing Floyd’s family hailed the settlement as historic.
“George Floyd’s horrific death, witnessed by millions of people around the world, unleashed a deep longing and undeniable demand for justice and change,” Crump said, calling it the largest pretrial settlement in a wrongful-death case ever. He said it “sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of color must end.”
“The city needs to exhibit responsible leadership in the face of the horrific tragedy that really was a watershed moment for America,” Crump said.