A $27 million settlement to the family of George Floyd has been unanimously approved by Minneapolis’ City Council.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died after being arrested on May 25, 2020. Video showed white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the back of Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly cried out, “I can’t breathe.”
Attorney Ben Crump said in a statement Friday, “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 settlement is for the civil lawsuit brought against the city of Minneapolis and the four officers involved with Floyd’s death.
His brother, Rodney Floyd, called the settlement “a necessary step for all of us to begin to get some closure.”
“George’s legacy for those who loved him will always be his spirit of optimism that things can get better, and we hope this agreement does just that — that it makes things a little better in Minneapolis and holds up a light for communities around the country,” Rodney Floyd said in a statement.
George Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, said she is “pleased that this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved.
“Our family suffered an irreplaceable loss May 25 when George’s life was senselessly taken by a Minneapolis police officer,” she said in a statement. “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.”
The settlement will likely ensure that George Floyd’s young daughter, Gianna Floyd, “is taken care of for the rest of her life,” NAACP president and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement. “But the acts of Minneapolis Police Department nearly a year ago will ensure that she will have to do so without the loving embrace of her father.”
Part of the settlement — $500,000 — will be directed to enhance the business district in the area where Floyd died.
In September, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted to rename the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, near the spot of Floyd’s fatal arrest, “George Floyd Square.”
Mr Floyd’s death sparked protests in Minneapolis and across the nation.
Chauvin’s trial is now underway. This week, a judge reinstated a third-degree murder charge. Chauvin, 44, also has been charged with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
As of Friday afternoon, seven out of 14 jurors had been seated.
Opening arguments in the case are scheduled to begin March 29.
Chauvin’s case is being tried separately from the other three former officers charged in connection with Floyd’s death.