The Minneapolis City Council has voted to pay out a $27 million settlement to the family of George Floyd who died May 25, 2020, after a city police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for more than nine minutes, suffocating him in the process. The city council agreed to the settlement with a 13-0 vote.
Floyd’s family thanked the city government for the financial settlement as well as the policy changes occasioned by the death of the black man which sparked worldwide protest during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. George Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, said he is thankful for the settlement but would be glad to return the money if he could get his brother back.
“I thank the state of Minnesota for getting this settlement taken care of,” Philonise said. “But even though my brother is not here, he’s here with me in my heart. Because if I could get him back, I would give all of this back. I know that he’s with us, and he’s standing up, right now, knowing that we have the opportunity to be able to fund low-income, African American communities.”
George Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd, said she will continue to work to make the world a better and safer place for everyone through the community foundation she founded in George Floyd’s name. The entire family also thanked protesters in the United States and around the world for turning into the streets to protest their brother’s unfortunate killing, saying the demonstrations went a long way to bringing justice to George and helping with policy reforms.
Floyd’s family attorney, Ben Crump, said the financial settlement is important since it will help take care of George Floyd’s family and dependents, but that the policy changes will make the society a better place for everyone within and outside the country.
“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,” Crump said. “The financial compensation most directly impacts George Floyd, his family, and the future of his family. But it is the policy reforms that affect all of us.”
Minneapolis City Mayor Jacob Frey and Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender said no amount of money can bring back Floyd or ease the trauma his family has gone through on the occasion of his death, but noted that the incident changed the narrative for racial profiling in the city and also helped the city to pay closer attention to the plights of aggrieved persons within the community.
Romanucci Antonio, a lawyer, said the event of Floyd’s death generated a watershed for civil rights in the United States and around the world, adding that police departments will now engage in crucial reforms that will prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries in the country.