MINNEAPOLIS, United States (AP) — The city of Minneapolis on Friday agreed to pay US$27 million to settle a civil lawsuit from George Floyd’s family over the Black man’s death in police custody, as jury selection continued in a former officer’s murder trial.
The Minneapolis City Council emerged from closed session to announce the settlement. Floyd family attorney Ben Crump called a news conference for 1:00 pm that was to include family members.
Crump, in a prepared statement, said it was the largest pre-trial civil rights settlement ever, and “sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of colour must end.”
The settlement includes US$500,000 for the south Minneapolis neighbourhood that includes the 38th and Chicago intersection that has been blocked by barricades since his death, with a massive metal sculpture and murals in his honour.
Floyd was declared dead on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a former officer who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes. Floyd’s death sparked sometimes violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.
“I hope that today will centre the voices of the family and anything that they would like to share,” Council President Lisa Bender said. “But 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 of our community who are mourning his loss.”
Floyd’s family filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in July against the city, Chauvin and three other fired officers charged in his death. It alleged the officers violated Floyd’s rights when they restrained him, and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.