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Death of George Floyd: How much will Minneapolis pay to settle the lawsuit and what will happen with Chauvin?

The family of George Floyd have been awarded a record civil settlement as jury selection for the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin continues.

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Death of George Floyd: How much will Minneapolis pay to settle the lawsuit and what will happen to the Chauvin trial?
CHANDAN KHANNA AFP

Officials for the city of Minneapolis have announced that the lawsuit into the death of George Floyd will result in a $27 million settlement payment to the family.

The civil settlement comes as jury selection continues for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer who is charged with Floyd’s murder. The death of the unarmed black man sparked global protests last summer and stirred conversation about racial injustice in the United States.

Minneapolis settlement reflects their “commitment to advancing racial justice”

On Friday the Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously in favour of approving the settlement, which will be paid to the family of George Floyd. The family filed a lawsuit in July against both the city and the four former police officers who were involved in the incident.

In a tweet posted earlier today, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frei said: "The past year has dramatically shifted our city's trajectory, and today marks another milestone in shaping a more just future for Minneapolis.”

He added: "Our settlement with George Floyd's family reflects a shared commitment to advancing racial justice and a sustained push for progress."

The settlement payment is the largest of its kind for the city, but Minneapolis has a history of paying large amounts to the families of victims killed by the city’s police department. In 2019 the family of Justine Ruszczyk, who was shot and killed by former officer Mohamed Noor after calling 911, was awarded a $20 million settlement.

Floyd's sister Bridgett Floyd described today’s news as “part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George."

She went on to say: "While we will never get our beloved George back, we will continue to work tirelessly to make this world a better, and safer, place for all."

Juror selection continues for Chauvin trial

The juror selection process for the trial of Derek Chauvin began on Tuesday, with a charge of third-degree murder now reinstated against the former Minneapolis Police officer. He is also accused of second-degree unintentional murder and manslaughter for his role in Floyd’s death, but the defence will hope that the additional charge gives jurors greater option to convict.

Given the huge public profile of the incident jury selection has proved difficult with both legal teams utilising Batson challenges to veto prospective jurors.

To date seven jurors have been confirmed, less than half of the 14 that is required (12 members of the jury plus two alternates). Of those selected so far, five are men and three are White. One identifies as Multiracial, one as Black and one as Hispanic.

The trial is expected to begin on 29 March, just over ten months since Floyd’s death on 25 May last year.