George Floyd household sues Minneapolis officers charged in his dying


Minneapolis (US), July 16

George Floyd’s household filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in opposition to town of Minneapolis and the 4 cops charged in his dying, alleging the officers violated Floyd’s rights after they restrained him and that town allowed a tradition of extreme pressure, racism and impunity to flourish in its police pressure.

The lawsuit got here the identical day that members of a metropolis constitution fee took public feedback on a proposal to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Many residents strongly favoured placing the proposal to a citywide vote in November.

The civil rights lawsuit, filed within the US District Court in Minnesota, was introduced by legal professional Ben Crump and different legal professionals representing Floyd’s relations. It seeks compensatory and particular damages in an quantity to be decided by a jury. It additionally asks for a receiver to be appointed to make sure that town correctly trains and supervises officers sooner or later.

“This complaint shows what we have said all along, that Mr Floyd died because the weight of the entire Minneapolis Police Department was on his neck,” Crump stated in a press release. “The city of Minneapolis has a history of policies, procedures and deliberate indifference that violates the rights of arrestees, particularly Black men, and highlights the need for officer training and discipline.”                

Crump stated the lawsuit seeks to set a precedent “that makes it financially prohibitive for police to wrongfully kill marginalised people—especially Black people—in the future”.

Mayor Jacob Frey’s workplace stated he couldn’t touch upon pending litigation. Interim City Attorney Erik Nilsson stated town is reviewing the lawsuit and can reply to it.

Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, died on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee in opposition to Floyd’s neck for practically eight minutes as Floyd stated he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin is charged with second-degree homicide, third-degree homicide and manslaughter. Three different officers on the scene—Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Kueng—are charged with aiding and abetting each second-degree homicide and manslaughter.

All 4 officers have been fired the day after Floyd’s dying, which set off protests that unfold world wide and became a nationwide depending on race in America.

Floyd’s dying additionally sparked calls to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department and change it with a brand new public security division. A majority of City Council members assist the transfer, saying the division has an extended historical past and tradition of brutality that has resisted change. The proposal requires a change within the metropolis constitution. Most callers to the primary hour of a public listening to on Wednesday night urged the constitution fee to let voters resolve.

The lawsuit comes on the identical day {that a} court docket allowed public viewing by appointment of video from the physique cameras of Lane and Kueng. A coalition of stories organisations and attorneys for Lane and Kueng have been advocating to make the movies public, saying they would offer a extra full image of what occurred. The choose has not stated why he’s not permitting the video to be disseminated extra broadly.

According to paperwork within the state probate court docket, Floyd is survived by 11 identified heirs—5 kids and 6 siblings. They stay in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and New York. All however certainly one of Floyd’s kids are adults. He has no dwelling dad and mom or grandparents. Kaarin Nelson Schaffer, named final week because the trustee for Floyd’s household, is the plaintiff within the federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit takes situation with police insurance policies and coaching. It says that though neck restraints may be lethal, the police division allowed them for use in conditions by which lethal pressure was not warranted. After Floyd’s dying, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo stated the kind of restraint Chauvin had used was not authorised.

The lawsuit additionally contends that town acted with “deliberate indifference” when it got here to permitting police to make use of extreme pressure. It says town ratified practices that allowed officers to deal with Black group members in a different way and it fostered a tradition by which officers weren’t penalised for dangerous actions.

“It really is about trying to change the culture and behaviour of policing,” Crump stated at a information convention. “We would have hoped that George Floyd did not have to sacrifice his life to bring about these changes. But now we are here, and we are at a tipping point.”  

Last yr, Minneapolis agreed to pay USD 20 million to the household of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, an unarmed lady who was shot by an officer after she known as 911 to report listening to a doable crime taking place behind her house. — AP



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