The city of Minneapolis in the United States has approved the sum of $27 million as settlement, following the civil lawsuit filed by George Floyd’s family over his death in police custody.
In May 2020, a video of a police officer — now identified as Derek Chauvin — kneeling on Floyd’s neck went viral, and sparked major protests within and outside the US.
Floyd was confirmed dead following the incident on May 25; he was buried on June 9, 2020.
Speaking on June 10, 2020, at a hearing of the US house committee on judiciary in Washington DC, Philonise Floyd had described his brother as a gentle giant whose death should not be in vain.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had also launched an investigation into the incident.
In a statement issued on Friday, the decision to approve the $27 million settlement agreement was said to have been reached following a unanimous vote by the Minneapolis council.
The city also added that the amount “includes a $500,000 contribution from the George Floyd family to the community at 38th and Chicago”.
“The killing of George Floyd in police custody on May 25, 2020 has forever transformed Minneapolis and sparked a racial reckoning around the world. The settlement in this civil lawsuit is independent and separate from the criminal trial underway. Jury selection for the trial of former MPD officer Derek Chauvin started March 8. The other former officers J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao are scheduled to go to trial on Aug. 23,” the statement reads.
Speaking on the decision of the city council, Jacob Frey, mayor of Minneapolis, thanked the Floyd family for staying strong, and promised that the government would continue to improve on its efforts on community policing.
“I cannot begin to thank the Floyd family enough for their strength and courage to use their voices to push us all to do better in our collective work in honoring their brother, father, and son. Amid unprecedented loss and pain, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity before us to effectuate change that has eluded policymakers, advocates, and community calls for far, far too long,” Frey said.
“We need to be unrelenting and unapologetic in our pursuit of a more equitable local government and more just approach to community safety and policing. And we will be.”
In her remarks, Lisa Bender, Minneapolis council president, offered her condolences to the family, adding that no amount would be enough to make up for the pain they have gone through.
“No amount of money can ever address the intense pain and trauma caused by his death to George Floyd’s family and to the people of our city. Minneapolis has been fundamentally changed by this time of racial reckoning. The Minneapolis City Council is united in working together with our community and the Floyd family to equitably reshape Minneapolis,” Bender was quoted as saying.
On her part, Andrea Jenkins, vice-president of the city council, called for calm and maintained that whatever the outcome of the trial, “we are all committed to seeking justice in all forms.”
“We cannot control the actions of the past. But we do have control over our actions in the days, weeks and years to come and how we move forward together, to begin the healing process. Transformational healing. Today is where this begins. And the Floyd family has shown us the way,” Jenkins added.