The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a $27 million settlement Friday with the family of George Floyd, the black man whose death while in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department sparked protests and violent unrest across the nation.
Ben Crump, an attorney representing Floyd’s family, announced the multi-million dollar settlement as “historic” and thanked city leadership for putting the civil lawsuit to rest and for focusing on policy changes in the aftermath of Floyd’s death.
“This agreement is a necessary step for all of us to begin to get some closure,” said Rodney Floyd, one of Floyd’s brothers, reports The New York Times. “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.”
“I hope that today will center the voices of the family and anything that they would like to share,” said Lisa Bender, city council president, reports The Associated Press. “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.”
According to The New York Times, the settlement provides $26.5 million for the family of George Floyd, and an additional $500,000 for the “community” around 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the intersection where Floyd’s final moments were videotaped.
The intersection, known informally as George Floyd Square, became a make-shift memorial site after Floyd’s death. The area has since become a no-go zone for people deemed unwelcome by occupiers, including police officers and even a local reporter.
It’s unclear how the settlement money will be used for the “community” in that area.
George Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, released a statement Friday that said, on behalf of members of her family, she was “pleased that this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved.” She also said she would prioritize work at the George Floyd Memorial Foundation, which will “honor my brother’s memory and legacy as a community-minded volunteer who would truly give the shirt off his back to someone who needed it.”
Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police Officer who was seen in viral footage with his knee on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and recently had a lesser third-degree murder reinstated. According to NBC News, to reach a conviction for third-degree murder, prosecutors will need to convince the jury that Chauvin was engaged in an “eminently dangerous act” that caused Floyd’s death.
Jury selection, which began earlier this week, is ongoing. Three other ex-Minneapolis police officers will be tried separately from Chauvin, in a joint-trial later this year, and will face charges for “aiding and abetting,” according to The Associated Press.
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