The city of Minneapolis will pay $27 million to the family of George Floyd, a Black man killed by police there last May, as part of a settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Officials on the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved the settlement on Friday, in the federal suit filed by Floyd’s family last July against the city and the four officers involved in Floyd’s death.
This is the largest pretrial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death suit in the nation’s history, according to Floyd family attorney Ben Crump. Half a million dollars will be directed to community improvement efforts around the location where Floyd was killed at 38th St. and Chicago Ave.
“George Floyd’s horrific death, witnessed by millions of people around the world, unleashed a deep longing and undeniable demand for justice and change,” Crump said in a statement, adding that the settlement “sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of color must end.”
The settlement announcement comes as jury selection has begun in the criminal trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter and third-degree murder.
Floyd’s death spurred months of protests across the country and the world against racist police violence.
Video of the incident showed Floyd pinned face-down by Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he pleaded, “I can’t breathe.”
“Our family is grateful for all those who care so deeply about George’s life and our loss, and this agreement is a necessary step for all of us to begin to get some closure,” Rodney Floyd, George’s brother, said in a statement, adding that he hopes the settlement “makes things a little better in Minneapolis and holds up a light for communities around the country.”