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After months of deliberation, the Minneapolis City Council has unanimously voted to give George Floyd’s family $27 million in a legal settlement. The city has agreed to pay the wrongful death civil lawsuit which was filed last July. In it, Floyd’s family said that the police officers who were involved in killing George Floyd violated constitutional rights by using “unjustified, excessive, and illegal, and deadly use of force.” The $27 million settlement was announced shortly after that of Breonna Taylor‘s. This is one of the largest settlements ever in a police misconduct case, and the largest ever paid for the death of a Black man.
On Friday, the Minneapolis City Council voted 13-0 to approve the lump sum for Floyd’s estate — $500,000 of which will go towards the George Floyd memorial site in Minneapolis. The lawsuit also detailed how the city created a culture of excessive force and impunity in the police department while also failing to fire officers who exhibited harmful behavior. This coincides with the current jury selection for the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who killed Floyd by kneeling on his neck until he stopped breathing. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to second-degree unintentional murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder.
In May, Floyd uttered his last words, “I can’t breathe,” after being violently pressed to the ground by police officers, sparking the summer’s Black Lives Matter uprising. Bridgett Floyd, George’s sister, told CNN in response to the settlement that the family is “pleased that this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved.”
Ben Crump, one of the Floyd family’s lawyers, also said regarding the settlement: “George Floyd’s horrific death, witnessed by millions of people around the world, unleashed a deep longing and undeniable demand for justice and change. That the largest pre-trial settlement in a wrongful death case ever would be for the life of a Black man sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of color must end.”
“The past year has dramatically shifted our city’s trajectory, and today marks another milestone in shaping a more just future for Minneapolis,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said in a tweet. “Our settlement with George Floyd’s family reflects a shared commitment to advancing racial justice and a sustained push for progress.”
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