New York Daily News: MANHATTAN, NY – The city of Minneapolis has agreed to pay a record $27 million to settle the wrongful death lawsuit brought by George Floyd’s family.
Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd, 41, thanked city leaders at a press conference but said no amount of money could cure his family’s grief.
“If I could get him back, I would give all of this back,” the younger brother said, choking back tears. “I know that he’s with us, and he’s standing up right now.”
Lawyers for the family called the landmark deal a “moral” victory.
“This historic agreement, the largest pre-trial settlement in a police civil rights wrongful death case in U.S. history, makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020, that George Floyd’s life matters and by extension Black lives matter,” attorney Ben Crump said.
“Now the city can be a beacon of hope and life and change,” he said, praising the leadership of the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey, who brokered the pact.
The Minneapolis City Council announced the settlement after a closed-door session, where it was passed unanimously. It includes $500,000 earmarked for businesses in the community where Floyd was arrested.
“I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. We know that no amount of money can ever address the intense pain and trauma caused by his death,” Council President Lisa Bender said. “I just want you to know how deeply we are with you.”
Floyd, 46, died May 25 after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for about nine minutes while the unarmed Black man was prone on the pavement, securely handcuffed and compliant, crying, “I can’t breathe.
“When somebody says they can’t breathe, what is it about that statement that should not be believed?” family lawyer Antonio Romanucci asked at a press conference Friday. “George did not need warrior policing that day. What he needed was help.”
Chauvin, 44, is now on trial for second-degree unintentional murder and other charges in Minneapolis. Three other officers involved in the fatal arrest are due to be tried later this year. On Friday, a seventh juror was seated for the case.
“On behalf of all of my family members, I am pleased that this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved,” sister Bridgett Floyd said in a statement.
“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’s family filed the civil lawsuit federal court July 15 against the city and the fired officers charged in his death.
It alleged the officers violated Floyd’s civil rights when they restrained him.
“Chauvin’s use of deadly force in applying direct pressure to and kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck was objectively unreasonable and violated clearly established law,” the complaint said.
It also claimed the Minneapolis Police Department trained its officers to use deadly force in non-deadly circumstances, tolerated racism in its ranks and ignored “improper conduct by Chauvin throughout his career.”
Minnesota National Guard troops patrolled around the heavily fortified Hennepin County Courthouse during Day 4 of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.
The landmark settlement was announced a day before the one-year anniversary of the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor by police in Louisville, Ky.
The Black EMT, 26, was fatally shot inside her apartment during a botched police raid March 13, 2020.
In September, the city of Louisville agreed to pay $12 million to Taylor’s family to settle its wrongful death claim.