As jury selection continues for the murder trial of Derek Chauvin in the May 2020 death of George Floyd, the city of Minneapolis announced that it has settled with his family for $27 million.
City Council members voted to approve the settlement Friday afternoon (March 12) and the office of Mayor Jacob Frey said that he will approve it also, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“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 Benjamin Crump, Floyd family attorney said in a statement. “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.”
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Floyd's sister, Bridgett Floyd, spoke on behalf the family after the settlement was announced.
"Our family suffered an irreplaceable loss May 25 when George’s life was senselessly taken by a Minneapolis police officer.," she said in a statement. "While we will never get our beloved George back, we will continue to work tirelessly to make this world a better, and safer, place for all."
According to the city, about $500,000 of the $27 million will be used to revitalize the area around the corner where Floyd died when he was confronted by Chauvin and three other Minneapolis policemen.
"There is no amount of money that can replace a brother, a son, a nephew, a father, a loved one but what we can do is continue to work towards justice and equity and equality in the city of Minneapolis and that's what I commit to do." Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins said after the group voted to approve the settlement, according to the Star-Tribune.
Floyd’s family filed suit against the city in July, just two months after his death. He was determined to have died when Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd’s neck while apprehending him, causing him to asphyxiate. Officers arrived on the scene when a store clerk called them, believing Floyd had passed a counterfeit $20 bill.
This is the second major payout over a death involving Minneapolis police. In 2019, the city paid the family of Justine Damond $20 million over her 2017 shooting death. The officer in that case, Mohamed Noor, was convicted and sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison.
Meanwhile, jury selection in Chauvin’s trial continued Friday. So far six of the needed 12 jurors and two alternates have been chosen. Chauvin is accused of second degree and third degree murder. Opening statements in the trial are expected in late March.
The three other officers accused in Floyd’s death, Tou Thao, J. Alexander Keung, and Thomas Lane—all accused of aiding and abetting second degree murder—are expected to take place in August.
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