THE US city of Minneapolis will pay $27 million to settle a lawsuit by the family of George Floyd over his death in police custody, a case that stirred national protests over racial injustice and police brutality.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in May as Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd’s dying pleas for help were captured on widely seen bystander’s video, which helped spark one of the largest protest movements ever seen in the United States.
The trial of Chauvin, who was fired by the police force, began earlier this week in Hennepin County’s district court on charges of murder and manslaughter. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty and said he properly followed his police training.
Judge Peter Cahill has set aside about three weeks for jury selection in the high-profile case. So far, six jurors have been seated.
Last year, Floyd’s relatives sued the city, Chauvin and three other police officers involved in federal court, saying police used excessive force against Floyd in violation of his constitutional rights.
The settlement announced on Friday includes a $500,000 contribution from Floyd’s family to the community at the Minneapolis intersection where Floyd died, which has been barricaded against police access by residents and is filled with flowers and other tributes to Floyd.
Chauvin was helping arrest Floyd on the evening of May 25 on suspicion of his using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes at the Cup Foods grocery store at the intersection.
The other three officers are due to go on trial later this year on charges of aiding and abetting Chauvin in Floyd’s death, which was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. The Minneapolis Police Department fired all four officers the day after the deadly arrest.