George Floyd’s loved ones are getting paid.
As reported by The Associated Press, the Minneapolis City Council approved a settlement Friday granting roughly $27 million to the Minnesota man’s family.
Attorney Ben Crump called the decision “historic.”
Yet — he explained — it’s only a step:
“It’s going to be a long journey to justice. This is just one step on the journey to justice. This makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020, that George Floyd’s life mattered, and that by extension, Black lives matter.”
Per The New York Times, brother Rodney Floyd spoke of “legacy”:
“This agreement is a necessary step for all of us to begin to get some closure. 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.”
“George’s legacy for those who loved him will always be his spirit of optimism that things can get better..we hope this agreement does just that — that it makes things a little better..and holds up a light for communities around the country.” Rodney Floyd https://t.co/8LfW9aq4G4
— Shelley English (@shelley_english) March 12, 2021
The country could certainly use some closure — the terrible death of George Floyd opened floodgates that overtook the country in ways rarely if ever before seen.
City Council President Lisa Bender, the AP noted, “choked up as she addressed a news conference about the settlement, saying she knew ‘no amount of money’ could bring Floyd back.”
She wants to see the Floyd family in focus:
“I hope that today will center the voices of the family and anything that they would like to share, But I do want to, on behalf of the entire City Council, offer my deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd, his friends and all of our community who are mourning his loss.”
Back to closure, it’s not likely to happen soon.
While jury selection continues in the Derek Chauvin trial, the area of George’s makeshift memorial has become a no-cops-allowed autonomous zone.
Also not necessarily allowed, as seen below: media.
The George Floyd memorial is an "autonomous zone" with several blocks controlled by activists. Police don't even go in. We tried to respectfully get video-but left after two people confronted us near the barricades.
Later learned many protestors don't even feel comfortable there. pic.twitter.com/5w32fxQ0hR
— Brian Entin (@BrianEntin) March 10, 2021
Some critics believe the council’s public payout has put justice in jeopardy.
Speaking to The Washington Post, former chief Hennepin County public defender Mary Moriarty talked impact:
“I think it’s a potential disaster for Chauvin.”
Mary said if she were Derek’s attorney, she’d request a mistrial.
Chauvin lawyer Eric Nelson, notes the Post, has “sought to block mention of any possible payout by the city to Floyd’s family, arguing it would be prejudicial.”
Ben Crump called the $27 mil the largest-ever pretrial settlement for a civil rights claim.
From the AP:
Council members met privately to discuss the settlement, then returned to public session for a unanimous vote in support of the massive payout. It easily surpassed the $20 million the city approved two years ago to the family of a white woman killed by a police officer.
Stay tuned for more — I have a feeling, a lot more.
The settlement includes $500,000 for the south Minneapolis neighborhood that includes the 38th and Chicago intersection that has been blocked by barricades since his death, with a massive metal sculpture and murals in his honor. The city didn’t immediately say how that money would be spent.
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