The Minneapolis City Council has unanimously approved a civil lawsuit settlement worth $27 million with the estate of George Floyd, over his death while being detained by police last year.
The settlement includes $500,000 to be sent to the neighborhood where Floyd died during his arrest in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. The $27 million payment marks the largest pre-trial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death case in US history.
“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,” Ben Crump, the attorney representing the Floyd family, said in a statement.
The city council’s decision comes ahead of the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former officer accused of being responsible for Floyd’s death. Currently in custody, Chauvin is facing second-degree and third-degree murder charges, as well as one of manslaughter. The third-degree charge was added this week at the request of prosecutors.
Floyd’s last moments and death went viral last year after a video showed Chauvin holding his knee against Floyd’s neck for approximately nine minutes after he was handcuffed and brought to the ground. Floyd became unresponsive and died.
His death sparked massive Black Lives Matter protests in major cities across the country – some of which turned violent – as well as overseas.
Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to the charges and his trial is set to begin on March 29. Jury selection is currently underway.
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