The Minneapolis, Minnesota city council voted unanimously on Friday to pay $27m to settle a lawsuit filed by George Floyd‘s family.
In July, Floyd’s family sued the city and the four police officers charged in his death last May.
The suit alleged the officers violated 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.
Floyd’s sister Bridgett Floyd said in a statement that she and her family were “pleased that this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved”.
“While our hearts are broken, we are comforted in knowing that even in death, George Floyd showed the world how to live,” her statement said, according to the Reuters news agency.
Ben Crump, the Floyd family’s lawyer, said, “It’s not just enough for America to say that George Floyd’s life matters. We have to show that George for life matters by actions, is not just enough for America to say that Black lives matter. We have to show that Black lives matter by our actions.”
“We applaud this responsible city leadership and we urge everybody to practise responsible leadership in remaining calm and engaging in peaceful protests for George Floyd,” Crump added. The family says they aren’t just looking for a monetary settlement.” Hendren reports the family wanted reforms and justice in the cases of the four officers accused in Floyd’s death.
“The settlement is not just historic because of the $27 million paid out, but for the impact on social justice policy reforms and police reforms … that affect all of us,” Crump said.
“This is a deeply traumatic event that, unfortunately, is a part of too many Black and brown families’ realities,” Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins said after the vote, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“There is no amount of money that can replace a brother, a son, a nephew, a father, a loved one but what we can do is continue to work towards justice and equity and equality in the city of Minneapolis and that’s what I commit to do,” Jenkins continued.
The $27m settlement also includes a $500,000 contribution from the Floyd family to the neighbourhood where Floyd died.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died on May 25 after officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes while Floyd pleaded “I can’t breathe” and bystanders implored the officers to let him go.