George Floyd's family receives $27 million settlement from Minneapolis over wrongful death

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Mar 13, 2021, 07:40 AM IST


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The case of Floyd, who died in police custody caused national uproar over racism and police brutality

The US city of Minneapolis is set to pay $27 million to the family of George Floyd to settle a lawsuit over his death.

The case of Floyd, who died in police custody caused national uproar over racism and police brutality. Floyd was a 45-year-old Black man, who died in May at the hands of Derek Chauvin, a White Minneapolis officer. Floyd’s last moments were captured on tape by bystanders, which sparked one of the largest protest movements in the history of United States.

Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck even when he kept saying “I can’t breathe”. Ultimately, Floyd passed away. The agreement will the largest pre-trial settlement of wrongful death in US history.

According to Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Floyd family, the settlement signifies how the death of a Black person, at the hands of the police “will no longer be written off as trivial, unimportant, or unworthy of consequences”.

In the video that went viral after Floyd’s death, the officer was seen kneeling on the man for almost nine minutes, even when he was repeatedly telling the officer about his inability to breathe. It was only when the ambulance arrived that the officer retracted his knee from the neck. An hour later, Floyd was dead.

A few days earlier, The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that bans controversial police tactics and eases the way for lawsuits against officers violating suspects' constitutional rights.

Democrats pushed the "George Floyd Justice in Policing Act" through the House by a vote of 220-212, with the support of only one Republican. 

The said bill includes measures such as restricting certain funds to local governments that allow law enforcement officers to use choke holds, banning "no-knock warrants" that allow police officers to enter premises without announcing themselves and requiring law enforcement agencies to provide data on instances when police officers used deadly force.

The bill would hold police "accountable" when constitutional rights are violated but would also support local law enforcement by fostering improvements in community policing, especially for minority neighbourhoods.
Also, one of its most controversial provisions would change "qualified immunity" for police, further opening the door for lawsuits over the use of excessive force.