Demonstrators march during a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 16, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of George Floyd’s children and siblings against the city of Minneapolis and the four officers charged with his murder. Floyd died on May 25 while he was restrained and under arrest. Attorney Ben Crump, who represents Floyd’s family, stated, “It was not just the knee of Officer Derek Chauvin on George Floyd’s neck…it was the knee of the entire Minneapolis Police Department.”

Crump claimed that the officers infringed on Floyd’s rights during the altercation, alleging that “the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.” The amount of compensation was not specified in the lawsuit. However, Crump said he hopes it will “set a precedent that makes it financially prohibitive for police to wrongfully kill marginalized people — especially Black people — in the future.”

The lawsuit was filed just hours after a Minnesota court publicly released Minneapolis Police bodycam footage of the incident that led to Floyd’s death. The footage shows one officer pulling a gun on Floyd within 15 seconds of the encounter. Additionally, Floyd said at least 25 times that he could not breathe, noting a recent COVID-19 diagnosis. Former Officer Chauvin told Floyd he could breathe because he could speak. Chauvin’s bodycam fell under the squad car during a struggle with Floyd, where it remained while Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck. “I can’t breathe” were Floyd’s last words.

Judge Peter Cahill released the footage only by appointment, with no recording or publishing allowed. He did not offer an explanation of his reasoning for the decision. The Minneapolis Police department noted that the agency chose to not release the footage because it was part of an ongoing investigation of the former officers.

In response to the protests that broke out in Minneapolis and across the country, many of which continue today, the Minneapolis City Council moved in early June to defund the city’s police.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

The Family of George Floyd Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Minneapolis Police – The Root – 7/15/2020
It’s been almost two months since the horrific video of his death hit the internet and people are still on the streets, protesting in his name. While the officers involved in Floyd’s death have all been arrested and are currently facing charges, a civil suit has been filed by Floyd’s family against the city for his death. […] The 40-page document contains a list of multiple violent arrests that have occurred in Minneapolis over the years and argues that city officials have allowed police misconduct to go unabated for too long.

George Floyd’s Family Files Lawsuit Against Minneapolis, Police – Breitbart – 7/15/2020
George Floyd’s family is seeking unspecified financial damages, as well as the appointment of a “receiver or similar authority” who would ensure Minneapolis law enforcement “properly trains and supervises its police officers.” The suit alleges that Derek Chauvin and his fellow officers violated Floyd’s constitutional rights, and that the city “caused officers to act with impunity, and without fear of retribution.”

Bodycam Transcript Shows George Floyd Cop Was Extra Hostile From The Start – NewsOne – 7/8/2020
One of the former police officers involved with George Floyd’s killing has argued that there isn’t enough evidence to show he committed a crime, but a transcript from his bodycam during the deadly encounter in Minneapolis on Memorial Day showed he was extremely hostile from the beginning despite responding to a report of a nonviolent crime. The revelation suggests Thomas Lane played much more of an aggressive role in Floyd’s death than his defense lawyer has been letting on.

‘I’m Not A Bad Guy’: Body Camera Footage In George Floyd Case Details Interaction With Police – The Daily Caller – 7/15/2020
After not immediately displaying his hands to police, Officer Thomas Lane pulls his gun, and Floyd says he’s been shot before. Floyd’s hands are hands cuffed behind his back, and he tells officers that he’s claustrophobic and pleads with them not to put him in the back of the squad car. Floyd loses a shoe while struggling with officers, and the Associated Press reports that what appears to be Officer Derek Chauvin’s body camera ends up underneath the squad car. Floyd is soon on the pavement as officers hold him down.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Sam Levine on Twitter, 7/16/2020: Lawyers for Tou Thao, former Minneapolis police officer charged in death of George Floyd, accuse Minnesota AG Keith Ellison of violating gag order

Paul Blume on Twitter, 7/15/2020: It is official. Here is cover page of federal lawsuit filed by @AttorneyCrump in death of #GeorgeFloyd Does not specifically demand $$ amount. Expecting to hear from Crump in abt 15 min. One local lawyer asked me if Crump’s comments might somehow violate criminal case gag order??

Herman Cain on Twitter, 7/16/2020: Do we learn anything here that we didn’t already know? #GeorgeFloyd #Minneapolis #PoliceAbuse

andrewkarre on Twitter, 7/15/2020: I don’t know if there’s a real legal reason George Floyd body cam footage is being released this way, but I’m sure many will think it’s because officials fear protests if people saw the actual video. This fear is misplaced. What they should fear is the police department.

jeremy scahill on Twitter, 7/15/2020: Bodycam video in George Floyd killing shows officer pulled gun, swore and touched Floyd multiple times without explanation. Officers didn’t inform Floyd for several minutes–and after he was in handcuffs–why he was being investigated.

Krista Mahr on Twitter , 7/16/2020: “Mr. Chauvin appears to express more concern for his fellow officers than the man dying under his knee.’You guys all right, though?’ he said. ‘My knee might be a little scratched, but I’ll survive,’ responded another officer.”

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