The city of Minneapolis will pay a record $27 million to the family of George Floyd to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit related to his death last May in police custody.
The payout was approved in a unanimous vote by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday morning in what was a last-minute addition to the agenda of the council’s regular meeting. The settlement would be the highest ever paid by the city of Minneapolis, eclipsing the $20 million paid in 2019 to the family of Justine Damond, who was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer in 2017, the Washington Post reports.
The settlement could have implications for the ongoing criminal trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who faces second-degree and third-degree murder charges over Floyd's death. As jury selection began this week, Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s attorney, sought to block mention of any possible payout by the city to the Floyd family, arguing it would be prejudicial.
Legal observers questioned if publicity over the settlement, which came on day four of jury selection, could result in a possible mistrial.
“I think it’s a potential disaster for Chauvin,” said Mary Moriarty, former chief Hennepin County public defender. She said if she were Chauvin’s attorney, she would request a mistrial.