In May 2020, a video of the brutal murder of George Floyd by law enforcement shocked millions as both national and international protests erupted. The City Council of Minneapolis made a vote to move forward with a $27 million settlement to pay George Floyd’s family for his wrongful death. The council had a thirteen to zero unanimous vote. The city of Minneapolis has been deeply affected by this murder and was one of the first hotspots for Black Lives Matter Protests.
Benjamin Crump has served as one of the civil rights lawyers for George Floyd’s family. He stated that the settlement is the largest to have been reached before a trial in terms of a wrongful death civil rights lawsuit.
“George Floyd’s horrific death, witnessed by millions of people around the world, unleashed a deep longing and undeniable demand for justice and change,” Crump stated. “That the largest pre-trial settlement in a wrongful death case ever would be for the life of a Black man sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of color must end.”
Floyd’s family accused the city of violating George’s constitutional rights under the Fourth and 14th Amendments in their lawsuit.
Also this Saturday, March 13th marks the year anniversary of the night that Breonna Taylor was murdered by law enforcement. The 26-year-old was shot in her sleep when three undercover cops in plainclothes broke into her home as part of an unannounced drug search. Her family received a $12 million settlement for her wrongful death. A “Highmark” for police killing is around $38 million dollars.
This one of the largest police brutality settlements in United States history. Floyd’s murderer Derek Chauvin was charged with the murder of the second degree, third-degree murder, and has also been given a second-degree manslaughter charge. The other three Minneapolis Police Officers involved in the murder have been charged with assisting manslaughter and second-degree murder.
Jury selection got underway this week for Chauvin’s trial.
Taylor’s settlement is one of the many larger police brutality payouts in recent years. In contrast, one can look at the case of Eric Garner, who was killed in a chokehold by a New York Police Department officer in 2014. Garner’s case was settled in 2015 when New York City paid his family $5.9 million dollars.
However, despite these settlements, no amount of money can bring back any of these family members.