Minneapolis City Council members approved the largest police settlement in the city’s history on Friday for the family of George Floyd.
The city will pay Floyd’s family $27 million after Floyd’s harrowing death went viral in May 2020, KARE 11 reports. The moment marked a turning point in the Black Lives Matter Movement where former officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes as he cried out “I can’t breathe.”
Council members unanimously voted to reach the decision during a closed session, capping the the end of the first week of the Chauvin trial where six jury members have been empaneled. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter and a newly added charge of third-degree murder in the case. Opening arguments are expected to begin on March 29.
“This part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved,” said Floyd’s sister Bridget in a statement obtained by the Star Tribune.
“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.”
Lawyers for Floyd’s family responded to the decision with optimism that justice will begin to prevail. Family members enlisted civil rights attorney Ben Crump and filed a civil suit against the city in July 2020, two months after Floyd’s death.
“George Floyd’s historic death, witnessed by millions of people around the world, unleashed a deep longing and undeniable demand for justice and change,” Crump stated. “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 also includes a $500,000 contribution from Floyd’s family to an initiative dedicated to community members at the corner of 38th and Chicago Ave, the same intersection where Floyd took his last breath.
This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes readily available.