George Floyd's family filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis on Wednesday, according to a report by CNBC. The suit also included the four former police officers involved in killing Floyd on May 25. The lawsuit argues that the officers violated Floyd's constitutional rights, and that the city "caused officers [to] act with impunity and without fear of retribution."
The Floyd family filed their suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on Wednesday. They are reportedly seeking unspecified financial damages, and the appointment of a "receiver or similar authority" to ensure that Minneapolis "properly trains and supervises its police officers." The family is working with civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who announced the "unprecedented" lawsuit with them in a press conference.
The pursuit to get #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd continues! On behalf George’s family, we're announcing a civil lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis and police officers today at 1PM ET / 12PM CT. Watch the news conference virtually: https://t.co/7hqmTWN28b— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) July 15, 2020
"With this lawsuit, we seek to set a precedent to make it financially prohibitive [for police to] wrongfully kill marginalized people, especially Black people, in the future," Crump said. "The city of Minneapolis has a history of policies and procedures and deliberate indifference when it comes to the treatment of arrestees, especially Black men, that cries out for training and discipline."
The four officers involved in Floyd's death are already facing criminal charges. Derek Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He was the officer with his knee on Floyd's neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The other three officers — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin on both counts.
Meanwhile, Minnesota is reportedly investigating the "policies, procedures and practices" of the Minneapolis Police Department over the last 10 years. Federal authorities are conducting a separate investigation along similar lines.
The new lawsuit from Floyd's family argues that Chauvin's actions while attempting to arrest Floyd were unreasonable, and that each of the other three officers had a duty to stop him and protect Floyd. It also claims that the Minneapolis Police Department "frequently fails to terminate or discipline officers who demonstrate patterns of misconduct."0comments
The lawsuit takes Chauvin as an emblem of a wider pattern of misconduct. It alleges that the department "has observed unlawful or otherwise improper conduct by Chauvin throughout his career but has tolerated it and refused to remedy or mitigate it." It also points out that neck restraints like the one used by Chauvin have been officially classified as "non-deadly."
So far, Chauvin's attorney has not commented on this new lawsuit, while the attorneys of the other three officers have not been reached. A spokesperson for the city has not commented yet either.