George Floyd’s family is waiting for justice for his murder, on May 25 last year, at the hands of the police . The criminal process is already underway with the selection of the jury that must decide on the guilt or innocence of Derek Chauvin , the white agent who for eight minutes and 46 seconds kept his knee on the black man’s neck .
Floyd’s death sparked a wave of protests and a movement against racial injustice in America. For the moment, in any case, the family has already achieved a victory , and a historic one , in the federal civil lawsuitwhich he filed against the city last July. The Minneapolis city council unanimously agreed on Friday to close the case before going to trial by paying $ 27 million , an unprecedented figure in the city.
Floyd’s family, his attorneys and the mayor, Democrat Jacob Frey, appeared together to celebrate the agreement. “It sends a powerful message that black lives matter and police brutality against people of color must end,” said Ben Crump, the Floyd’s attorney. “It is a message that unfairly ending a black life will not be dismissed as trivial, unimportant, or unworthy of consequences.”
The pact (which will allocate less than half a million dollars to the neighborhood where Floyd was murdered) came on the fourth day of jury selection for Chauvin’s trial and immediately raised questions about how it can impact that process and whether it will make it difficult to achieve the impartiality sought. on that jury.
So far, seven members have already been chosen: three white men and one woman, one black and one Hispanic man, and one multiracial woman. The initial oral arguments of the prosecution and defense are expected to begin on March 29. The other three police officers involved in Floyd’s arrest and death will stand trial in another trial that is scheduled to start in August.
Dereck Chauvin’s trial began earlier this week on charges of murder in the second and third degree, and murder in the second degree.
If convicted of second degree murder, the former police officer could face a sentence of between 11 and 15 years in prison, although the maximum is up to 40 years; While the third degree murder charge can mean 25 years in jail and the second degree murder, 10 years, although normally only five years are served.
The other three former police officers – Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao – are charged with complicity in murder and second-degree murder.
All four are out on bail.