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Minneapolis to pay 27 million dollars to settle Floyd family lawsuit

Mr Floyd’s death sparked violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.

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(Jim Mone/AP)

(Jim Mone/AP)

(Jim Mone/AP)

The city of Minneapolis has agreed to pay 27 million dollars (£19.4 million) to settle a civil lawsuit from George Floyd’s family over the black man’s death in police custody.

The Minneapolis City Council emerged from a closed session to announce the settlement, which includes 500,000 dollars for the neighbourhood where Mr Floyd was arrested.

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Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

AP/PA Images

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin (Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Mr Floyd was declared dead on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a former officer who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes.

Mr Floyd’s death sparked violent protests in Minneapolis and beyond and led to a national reckoning on racial justice.

Mr Floyd’s family filed the federal civil rights lawsuit in July against the city, Chauvin and three other fired officers charged in his death.

It alleged the officers violated Mr Floyd’s rights when they restrained him, and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.

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Floyd family attorney Ben Crump called it the largest pretrial settlement ever for a civil rights claim, and thanked city leaders for “showing you care about George Floyd”.

“It’s going to be a long journey to justice. This is just one step on the journey to justice,” Mr 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.”

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George Floyd Square in Minneapolis (Jim Mone/AP)

George Floyd Square in Minneapolis (Jim Mone/AP)

AP/PA Images

George Floyd Square in Minneapolis (Jim Mone/AP)

“Even though my brother is not here, he’s here with me in my heart,” Philonise Floyd said.

“If I could get him back, I would give all this back.”

Chris Stewart, another attorney who worked with the family, said the size of the settlement “changes evaluations and civil rights for a black person when they die”.

“And what happens is that trickles down to decisions in the communities across this country. When there is a city council or a mayor deciding, ‘Oh, should we get rid of no-knock warrants, should we get rid of chokeholds, do we want to change these policies?’ They have 27 million reasons now why they should. And that will make decisions happen. That will make accountability happen.”


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