WASHINGTON – The city of Minneapolis on Friday agreed to pay $27 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of George Floyd over his death in police custody, a case that stirred national protests over racial injustice and police brutality.
Minnesota for getting this Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May as Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd’s dying pleas for help were captured on widely viewed bystander video, sparking one of the largest protest movements ever seen in the United States. Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Floyd family, said the agreement was the largest pre-trial settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit in U.S. history.
The size signifies that a Black person’s death at the hands of police “will no longer be written off as trivial, unimportant or unworthy of consequences,” Crump said at a news conference where he was joined by Floyd’s relatives, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and other officials. Floyd’s family was “pleased that this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved,” his sister Bridgett Floyd said in a statement. “While our hearts are broken, we are comforted in knowing that even in death, George Floyd showed the world how to live,” her statement said. The trial of Chauvin, who was fired by the police force, began last week in Hennepin County’s district court on charges of murder and manslaughter.
Chauvin has pleaded not guilty and said he properly followed his police training. Last year, Floyd’s relatives sued the city, Chauvin and three other police officers involved in federal court, saying police used excessive force against Floyd in violation of his constitutional right