Washington, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- The city of Minneapolis on Friday voted unanimously to approve a $27 million settlement with the family of George Floyd, whose death in police custody last year unleashed a wave of racial justice protests that shook the United States.
The move was approved 13-0 by the Minneapolis City Council, and stems from a federal civil rights lawsuit filed against the city and four police officers over Floyd’s death.
“No amount of money can ever address the intense pain or trauma caused by this death to George Floyd’s family or to the people of our city,” said council president Lisa Bender.
In a press conference, Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd told reporters “even though my brother is not here, he’s here with me in my heart.”
“If I could get him back, I would give all of this back.”
Floyd, 46, died on May 25, 2020 after being detained on suspicion of trying to use a counterfeit $20 bill at a supermarket.
The now ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed by security cameras and passers-by as he pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck, pinning him to the ground for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, as Floyd repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.
The settlement exceeds the $12 million that the city of Louisville agreed to pay on Sep. 15 to the family of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was shot by the police in her apartment during a mistaken drugs raid.
The agreed amount also exceeds the $20 million that Minneapolis paid to the family of Justine Damond, a 40-year-old Australian-American woman who was shot dead by a police officer in 2017.
On Thursday, Hennepin County judge Peter Cahill reinstated a charge of third-degree murder against Chauvin.
Chauvin already faced second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter charges.
The trial is expected to begin on Mar. 29 with the opening arguments of the defense and the prosecution.
Along with Chauvin, three other former police officers who participated in Floyd’s arrest – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – are also facing criminal charges and expected to go to trial in the middle of the year. All four are out on bail. EFE-EPA