The death by suffocation of the African American George Floyd killed by a policeman from Minneapolis yesterday had a surprising implication in the civil case.
The Minneapolis City Council in Minnesota has in fact agreed to pay $ 27 million to George Floyd’s family to withdraw the lawsuit filed for his death.
The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, stated that “This is the largest preliminary ruling agreement ever closed in a civil rights case. And it sends a powerful message, that the lives of blacks matter and that the police brutality against them must stop. “
The announcement of the deal came as the process of selecting jury members for the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin has been underway for four days.
The evidence against the former agent is overwhelming. The policeman choked Floyd last summer by pressing his knee to his neck for more than eight minutes as he was caught in a video that went around the world and sparked a massive mobilization across the country in favor of justice. racial to the cry of “Black Lives Matter”.
In parallel with the criminal case, Floyd’s family filed a lawsuit in July against the city council, and against Chauvin and the other three officers, already fired by the Minneapolis police, who participated in his arrest. The family said the officers violated Floyd’s rights by handcuffing him unfairly and that the local government allowed the police to have a culture of violence, racism and impunity especially against African Americans.
The $ 27 million, an amount unanimously approved in the municipal plenary session, includes $ 500,000 that will go to the neighborhood where Floyd was arrested.
“No amount of money will ever compensate for the intense pain and trauma of his death to his family or to the people of our city,” said the president of the municipal society, Lisa Bender.
“I want, on behalf of myself and the entire municipality, to extend my heartfelt condolences to George Floyd’s family, his friends and our entire community that mourns his loss.”
The deal caused a lot of noise and developed the legal debate on the implications for the trial against Chauvin that has just begun. Someone claims that he could help him and maybe exonerate him. The lawyer of the former policeman, at the beginning of the jury selection sessions this week, tried to get the block of a possible preliminary ruling in the civil case, because he believes it could harm his client.
But the trial could mark a major turning point in the modus operandi, often beyond the limits, of all the American police towards Hispanics and African Americans.