The family of George Floyd has reached a $27 million settlement with the City of Minneapolis on Friday, 12 March 2021.
Floyd, a Minneapolis man, died in police custody after being arrested in May 2020. A video, which went viral, shows police officer Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he said, “I can’t breathe.”
His death re-awakened the Black Lives Matter movement, which has long been at the forefront of exposing police brutality exerted towards black men in America.
George Floyd family lawyer reacts to settlement
The Floyd family attorney Ben Crump said it was the largest pretrial settlement ever for a civil rights claim, and has thanked the city leaders.
“It’s going to be a long journey to justice. This is just one step on the journey to justice,” Crump said.
“This makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020, that George Floyd’s life mattered, and that by extension, Black lives matter.”
George Floyd’s brother Philonise also reacted and said:
“If I could get him back, I would give all this back.”
The settlement comes as Chauvin faces trial for charges of second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter for Floyd’s death.
“The trial is very painful and the family needs closure. We’re pleased that all judicial avenues are being explored and that the trial will move forward,” Crump and fellow attorney Antonio Romanucci said.
Similarly to Floyd, Eric Garner died after being placed in a chokehold by a police officer in New York back in 2014. Police believed Garner, 43, was illegally selling cigarettes. Eerily, he too uttered, “I can’t breathe”, as his last words. The incident was also caught on camera.
NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the officer accused of causing Garner’s death received what many saw as a slap on the wrist – he was fired from his job but has instituted legal action in an attempt to be put back in the force.