Last Wednesday, George Floyd’s family filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis following four officers being charged for the murder of Mr. Floyd.
The civil suit alleges that the police officers violated Mr. Floyd’s rights when they detained him and that the city allowed a culture of racism and excessive force to become the foundation of its police force. The family’s attorney, Ben Crump, says that Mr. Floyd’s death is but a small part of a “public health crisis” throughout America. “The City of Minneapolis has a history of policies, procedures, and deliberate indifference that violate the rights of arrestees, particularly Black men, and highlights the need for officer training and discipline” Crump states.
The death of George Floyd on May 25, a 46-year-old unarmed African American male, sparked protests across the US, even spreading to cities in Asia and Europe, to combat police brutality and racism. Mr. Crump reported that the civil suit will seek unspecified monetary damages on behalf of Mr. Floyd’s children and siblings while also helping to reform the Minneapolis police department and the nation’s tolerance for racism. “This complaint shows what we have said all along, that Mr. Floyd died because the weight of the entire Minneapolis Police was on his neck,” Mr. Crump said in a statement. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court of Minnesota, outlines critical problems with police training and the ratification of a “culture of racism and bad behavior” in the police. “This was nothing new for the city of Minneapolis,” Crump told reporters, citing the deliberate indifference and disproportionately affected people of color who have been targeted. The lawsuit argues that the city had fostered a culture of excessive force within the police force and failed to terminate dangerous officers.
All officers involved throughout the criminal court proceedings have been fired and charged over his death. Derek Chauvin, who has filmed by eyewitnesses kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly 8 minutes, has been charged with second-degree murder. Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thai, the other offices at the scene, were charged with aiding and abetting murder. A tentative trial date for the four has been set for 8 March 2021.
The death, which was captured on video by bystanders led to global protests and a slew of police reform measures. “Why do you think George Floyd’s killing galvanized people around the globe? Minneapolis City Attorney Erik Nilsson asked. It is because he was tortured to death, not in a third world country, but here in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the United States of America in 2020.” Hennepin Country District Judge Peter Cahill allowed news outlets to view the body camera recording of the murder, which had previously not yet been made public. The video begins as Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng are seen responding to a call at a local market over a fake banknote being used, according to CNN. Seconds after speaking with a store employee, the officers were at the door of Mr. Floyd’s car. Mr. Lane points a gun at Mr. Floyd and orders him to put his hands up. Mr. Floyd is seen sobbing and pleading with the officers of whom struggle to handcuff him. In an attempt to put him in the police car, Mr. Floyd falls out of the car. As they attempt to restrain the suspect, Mr. Chauvin is seen kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for a duration of 8 minutes. Mr. Floyd is heard more than 20 times telling the officers he cannot breathe and pleads for mercy while falling unconscious several times. Protesters have chanted “I Can’t Breathe,” Floyd’s last words, while demonstrators have brought light to and demanded justice in the killings of Breoona Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County. Georgia.
The case proceedings will be updated throughout the coming weeks and months.