*The good news is the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a $27 million settlement to George Floyd’s family in their wrongful death lawsuit. That’s a step in the right direction to justice. But for some people that payoff is all the justice Floyd, his family and Black people in America should expect. That’s the bad news about the settlement money getting paid before the criminal trial starts.
I’m not an attorney or a psychologist, but when you’re dealing with racist White people one has to know the law and play mental chess to stay steps ahead of the games they play. In the minds of racist people, who could make it onto the jury of Derek Chauvin and those other cops charged with Floyd’s murder, this civil settlement could keep them from finding these killer cops guilty, even with the video or other evidence presented in court.
Also, the judge added third degree murder back to Chauvin’s list of charges, which is a step above manslaughter. I could see undercover racists who make it on the jury opting for a third degree conviction, because they really don’t want to convict but realize Chauvin must be held liable. That video made it quite clear none of them should be on anybody’s police force. And as one of Floyd’s family members said, if Chauvin’s actions aren’t worthy of a pre-meditated murder conviction, nothing is.
Speaking of liability: Even racists should be tired of having their tax dollars used to pay for bully, liar, killer cops who are the subject of these wrongful death civil lawsuits and who hide behind police qualified immunity that keeps them from standing trial most of the time.
Colorado is the only state to drop police immunity in favor of forcing cops to pay 5% or $25k of any civil lawsuit paid because of their negligent behavior. Maryland has a similar bill up for a vote in their state legislature. And the national George Floyd Justice In Policing Act was passed in the House. Now it must go to the U.S. Senate.
As we mark the first anniversary of the murder of Breonna Taylor, let’s not forget her family had to settle for a $12 million payoff and not even an indictment, let alone a conviction. When you’re dealing with police and race in America justice is never blind. Click on the video above for more details.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with your comments, questions and speaking inquiries. Follow her @tcbstef on Twitter and Instagram.