World Minneapolis reaches $27 mn settlement with Floyd family
George Floyd Trial Judge is Taking No Chances with Protest Masks, Clothes
The judge's orders are just a few of numerous court rules he has required to maintain order during the contentious trial. Floyd's death at the hands of city police set off global racial justice protests against police brutality. The initial uprisings in Minneapolis lasted three days and resulted in a burned police precinct as well as over $350 million in damages citywide, according to Minnesota Public Radio. Various protesters at the time wore face masks and clothing bearing slogans like "I can't breathe," some of Floyd's last words, or others such as "End police brutality" or "Black Lives Matter.
The family of George Floyd, the Black man who died while being arrested by a white police officer in Minneapolis, has reached a $27 million "wrongful death" settlement with the Minnesota city, lawyers for the family announced Friday.
"The $27 million settlement is the largest pre-trial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death case in US history," the lawyers said in a statement.
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, 44, is currently on trial facing murder and manslaughter charges for his role in Floyd's death, which was captured on video by bystanders and sparked protests against racial injustice around the globe.
‘The Whole World Is Watching’: Chauvin’s Murder Trial Isn’t Just About George Floyd
While the world watched Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin pin George Floyd to the ground by the knee for more than eight minutes last May, Amity Dimock-Heisler was still awaiting answers about the death of her own child at the hands of Minnesota police. In August 2019, her son, Kobe Dimock-Heisler, was shot six times by two Brooklyn Park police officers responding to a “disturbance call” at his grandparents’ house. The 21-year-old, who was on the autism spectrum and had a history of mental illness, had lost his temper at a local Wendy’s, and he turned his anger on his grandfather, Erwin Heisler, once they returned home, at one point grabbing a paring knife and hammer.
Chauvin was seen on the video kneeling on the neck of the 46-year-old handcuffed Floyd for nearly nine minutes on May 25, 2020.
Three other police officers -- Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng -- also face charges in connection with his death.
"George Floyd's horrific death, witnessed by millions of people around the world, unleashed a deep longing and undeniable demand for justice and change," said Ben Crump, a Floyd family lawyer.
"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," Crump said.
‘We will show up’: Protesters demand justice for George Floyd
Hundreds rally outside trial of former police officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.Many protesters expressed anxiety about whether Chauvin would be convicted in Minnesota’s first publicly broadcast trial, which will make it one of the most widely watched police brutality cases in recent history.
The settlement results from a federal lawsuit the Floyd family filed in US District Court in July against the city of Minneapolis.
"Even as the trial against former officer Derek Chauvin moves forward and the family waits for justice in the criminal courts, this settlement imparts a measure of justice that is meaningful, important and necessary," said another family attorney, L. Chris Stewart.
"It provides a path forward for our clients and ensures that George Floyd's death will result in substantive, positive change."
- 'Some closure' -
Floyd's brother Rodney said the agreement is "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," he said.
The $27 million settlement includes $500,000 to improve the business district in Minneapolis where Floyd died.
Trial of Derek Chauvin in the United States: fear of an acquittal
© AFP - KEREM YUCEL Demonstrators protest in Minneapolis ahead of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer accused of having killed George Floyd, on March 8 2021. The trial of Derek Chauvin, which opened on March 8 in Minneapolis, United States, resumes on Tuesday. Despite a damning video that has gone around the world showing this white cop suffocating George Floyd with his knee for nearly nine minutes, many in Minneapolis fear he will be acquitted.
In the statement, the legal team for the Floyd family praised police reforms adopted by the city of Minneapolis after Floyd's death and pledged support for further reforms.
Following Floyd's death, the Minneapolis Police Department agreed to keep body-worn cameras on at all times, to de-escalate non-threatening encounters with citizens by disengaging or walking away, and other measures.
"We are encouraged both by the progressive police reforms already adopted and the ambitious changes city of Minneapolis leaders still hope to create," said Antonio Romanucci, another Floyd family lawyer.
Jury selection is currently taking place in Chauvin's trial in a heavily guarded Minneapolis courtroom.
Seven jurors have been selected so far for the case and seven more need to be chosen in upcoming days.
Opening arguments are expected to begin on March 29.
Chauvin faces charges of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The most serious charge -- second-degree murder -- carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Two Chauvin jurors dropped after record $27m Floyd settlement .
Record settlement causes jurors to reconsider their impartiality in trial of officer accused of killing George Floyd.Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill recalled seven jurors who were seated before the settlement was announced last week and questioned each about what they knew of the settlement and whether it would affect their ability to serve.