It’s been nearly two months since the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis law enforcement and Floyd’s family and the public alike are still seeking justice for his death. On Wednesday, attorneys representing Floyd’s family filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the four police officers involved in his death in May.
The suit, which was filed Wednesday morning, specifically names all four police officers involved who were charged in Floyd’s death: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Kiernan Lane and Tou Thao. All but Chauvin are currently released on bail.
The family says in the suit that the Minneapolis Police Department trains officers to use deadly force even in non-deadly situations, which is what led to Floyd’s death. “It was not just the knee of officer Derek Chauvin on George’s Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, but it was the knee of the entire Minneapolis Police Department on the neck of George Floyd that killed him,” attorney Ben Crump said at a press conference announcing the suit.
“Without provocation or justification, the Defendant Officers took Mr. Floyd to the ground and placed him face down in the street, with the left side of his face pressed against the pavement,” said the family in the suit, describing the incident that led to Floyd’s death. “Defendants Lane and Kueng kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s back and legs, putting their body weight onto Mr. Floyd and pinning him to the ground.”
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The lawsuit also says that Floyd, “was unconscious for approximately four of those minutes, yet the Defendant Officers not only did not help him, but continued to cause George’s death and further extinguish any chance for Mr. Floyd’s survival.”
“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.”
“This is the tipping point for policing in America,” Crump continued, stating that this civil rights lawsuit will make it “financially prohibitive for police to wrongfully kill marginalized people — especially Black people — in the future.”
Floyd’s death has led to nationwide debates on how to effectively reform law enforcement. The Minneapolis City Council is moving towards abolishing the police department, while cities like Los Angeles are replacing police officers with community responders for non-violent emergency calls.