The city of Minneapolis on Friday reached a $27 million (€22.5 million) agreement with George Floyd's family to settle a civil lawsuit over the Black man’s death in police custody.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after a white police officer held him down with a knee to the neck despite his please that he couldn't breathe. His death sparked violent protests across the US and a global reckoning on rce.
Floyd family attorney Ben Crump told reporters it was the largest pretrial civil rights settlement ever, and "sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of colour must end."
The settlement includes $500,000 (€418,000) for the neighbourhood where Floyd was arrested.
Floyd’s family filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in July against the city, Chauvin and three other fired officers charged in his death. It alleged the officers violated Floyd’s rights when they restrained him, and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.
The settlement comes as jurors are being selected for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with second-degree and third-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death.
The trial is expected to start later this month.
It wasn't immediately clear how the settlement might affect the trial or the jury now being seated to hear it. Joseph Daly, a professor emeritus at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, said it will be hard to stop jurors or potential jurors from hearing about it.
“Judge Cahill will likely explain to the jurors that each must make a decision based solely on the evidence they hear in the criminal trial,” Daly said.
With jury selection in its fourth day, six people have been seated — five men and one woman. Three of those seated are white, one is multiracial, one is Hispanic and one is Black, according to Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill.
Three other police officers face an August trial on aiding and abetting charges.