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.
Council members met privately to discuss the settlement, then returned to public session for a unanimous vote in support of the massive pay-out. It easily surpassed the $20 million the city approved two years ago to the family of a white woman killed by a police officer.
“While we will never get our beloved George back, we will continue to work tirelessly to make this world a better, and safer, place for all.”– George Floyd’s sister Bridgett Floyd
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump called it the largest pre-trial settlement ever for a civil rights claim, and thanked city leaders for “showing you care about George Floyd.”
“It’s going to be a long journey to justice. This is just one step on the journey to justice,” Crump said. “This makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020, that George Floyd’s life mattered, and that by extension, black lives matter.”
George Floyd’s sister Bridgett Floyd, who attended jury selection earlier this week for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, said in a statement she was glad the lawsuit was resolved.
“Our family suffered an irreplaceable loss May 25 when George’s life was senselessly taken by a Minneapolis police officer. While we will never get our beloved George back, we will continue to work tirelessly to make this world a better, and safer, place for all,” she said.
Floyd was declared dead on May 25 after Chauvin, 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.