MINNEAPOLIS — The city of Minneapolis on Friday agreed to pay $27 million to settle a civil lawsuit with George Floyd's family just weeks before the trial is scheduled to begin for the former officer charged with murder in his death.
The City Council unanimously approved the settlement Friday after meeting in private. It includes a $500,000 donation to the community around the intersection of 38th and Chicago Avenue — now known as George Floyd Square — where police confronted Floyd last May 25 after a convenience store clerk claimed that he had tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes.
A bystander video recorded a police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd's neck for about nine minutes. Floyd was Black, and Chauvin is white. The video brought worldwide attention to Floyd's death and prompted global racial justice protests.
"I hope that today will center the voices of the family and anything that they would like to share," Council President Lisa Bender said. "But I do want to, on behalf of the entire City Council, offer my deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd, his friends and all of our community who are mourning his loss."
Benjamin Crump, one of the attorneys representing the Floyd family, said it was the largest pretrial settlement in a civil rights wrongful death lawsuit, and said it "sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of color must end."
Crump praised Mayor Jacob Frey and the Minneapolis City Council at a news conference and said Floyd's death "was a watershed moment for America."
"It's going to be a long journey to justice. This is but 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 matters, and that by extension, Black lives matter."
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