EXCLUSIVE: George Floyd’s Attorneys Speak On Historic $27 Million Settlement Agreement, Say Cities Care Most About Police Brutality Victims When They Have To Pay
In an exclusive interview with theJasmineBRAND.com, the attorneys presiding over George Floyd‘s civil case, L.Chris Stewart and Justin Miller, gave insight into the historic $27 million settlement agreement that was reached for George Floyd’s family.
George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers over an alleged counterfeit $20 bill in May of last year. One of the four police officers involved in the incident, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for a reported 8 minutes and 46 seconds which ultimately caused the father of five to suffocate to death.
On Friday, March 12th, the Minneapolis City Council approved a $27 million civil settlement with the family of George Floyd in a 13-0 vote.
During our exclusive interview, attorney L.Chris Stewart shared how a portion of the settlement money will be directed to help benefit businesses around the George Floyd Memorial site at 38th and Chicago. He said,
“$500,000 of [the settlement money] we will be donating to the street that [George Floyd] was killed on because it’s all minority-owned businesses and they’re really hurting from everything that happened in the area.”
He continued and shared why this win is so historic for any police brutality case that has taken place so far.
“It’s the highest pre-trial settlement in history for a police brutality case.”
Attorney Justin Miller followed up and explained to the JasmineBRAND that even though this civil case is a significant win it’s separate from the criminal case which is still taking place.
“It is not connected, I know some people are confused. It’s not connected to the criminal case which is still ongoing. So this is a different part. Justice comes in two pieces in these things in my opinion. One is the civil side, one is the criminal side. [The] Civil side is now done [and the] criminal side is moving forward.”
Even though the criminal case has yet to be resolved, L.Chris Stewart stressed the importance of civil lawsuits for the black community when police brutality takes place. He said,
“Why it’s so important, you know, that African Americans do not overlook the power and the value in the civil cases, that’s also how you get changed. We can march, we can protest but when cities start having to write major checks then they’re going to start caring because what cities care about more is the color green.”
“So what we did today is we showed them you’re not going to keep undervaluing African Americans who are killed. They normally try and pay $500,000, a million, something like that, no. No more. You will be paying us what you pay for a white victim and more, so that’s what today was about.”
As mentioned above, George Floyd was a father of 5, with his youngest child being six years old at the time of his passing. He was also survived by 2 grandchildren. When asked how his family is currently doing L.Chris Stewart said,
“You know that they’re hanging in there. We were just with the family this weekend and with Gianna, his daughter. [The settlement] helped because think about it, African-Americans we were already put behind the eight ball starting. So this will make sure the financial future of Gianna, college, you know, grad school, medical school, she wants to be a doctor, whatever it is.”
“If they could make him come back alive, I’m sure that would have been what happened. But they can’t, they have to write a check. And when you take somebody’s life the way they took George Floyd’s life it’s going to be a big check.”
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