The family of George Floyd, the Black man whose death set off a wave of protests after a video showed a white police officer kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes last May, has settled a lawsuit against Minneapolis for $27 million, city officials said on Friday.
The City Council voted unanimously to approve the settlement, and a spokeswoman for the city said Mayor Jacob Frey would sign the measure.
The settlement was among the largest in a case of police misconduct and was announced as Derek Chauvin, the former officer who knelt on Mr. Floyd’s neck, sat less than a mile away in a courtroom where jurors were being chosen for his trial. He has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“This agreement is a necessary step for all of us to begin to get some closure,” Rodney Floyd, one of Mr. Floyd’s brothers, said of the settlement. “George’s legacy for those who loved him will always be his spirit of optimism that things can get better, and we hope this agreement does just that — that it makes things a little better in Minneapolis and holds up a light for communities around the country.”
Ben Crump, the civil rights lawyer who is among those representing Mr. Floyd’s family, said the settlement was the largest reached before trial in a civil rights wrongful death lawsuit. And that it came in a lawsuit over the death of a Black man, he said, “sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of color must end.”
The settlement follows several other large payments from cities after high-profile police killings, including a $12 million payout in September from Louisville, Ky., after officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, in her apartment last March.
Minneapolis had previously paid one of the largest settlements in a lawsuit over police misconduct in May 2019, when the city agreed to a $20 million settlement with the family of Justine Ruszczyk, a white yoga instructor who was fatally shot by Mohamed Noor, a Black Minneapolis police officer, in 2017.
Payments in lawsuits over police killings have risen significantly in recent years. The family of Freddie Gray, who was fatally injured in police custody in Baltimore, reached a $6.4 million settlement with the city in 2015. That same year, New York agreed to pay $5.9 million to the family of Eric Garner, who was killed after a police officer used a chokehold on him.
Mr. Floyd’s family had sued the City of Minneapolis in July, saying that the police had violated his rights and failed to properly train its officers or fire those who violated department policies.
“It was the knee of the entire Minneapolis Police Department on the neck of George Floyd that killed him,” Mr. Crump said at the time.
The $27 million includes a $500,000 donation to the community around the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the corner where the police had confronted Mr. Floyd over a convenience store clerk’s claim that he had tried to use a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes, and where a bystander’s video capturing the arrest brought worldwide attention to his death.
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