The suit alleges the police officers violated Mr. Floyd’s rights when they detained him, and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force and racism to take root in its police force.
Mr. Floyd’s death is part of a “public health crisis” in black America, said the family’s attorney Ben Crump.
“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,” Crump said. “This is the tipping point for policing in America,” he said.
New body camera videos have emerged in the footage, Floyd is seen pleading with officers as they try to force him into their car, US media say Floyd reportedly tells police he could not breathe, and asks if he could lie on the ground instead.
A district judge allowed news outlets to view the two videos, which show the clearest picture yet of Floyd’s last moments in Minneapolis on 25 May.
All of the officers involved have since been fired and charged over his death. Derek Chauvin, who in a separate video filmed by eyewitnesses was seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes, has been charged with second-degree murder. The three other officers – Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao, have been charged with aiding and abetting murder. A Minneapolis judge has set a trial date for the four on 8 March 2021.
The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Minnesota, outlines what it calls critical problems with police training, and the city’s knowledge and “ratification” of a “culture of racism and bad behavior” in the police.
The Suit seeks to make it ‘financially prohibitive for police to wrongfully kill marginalized people’
“This was nothing new for the city of Minneapolis,” Crump told reporters, citing what he said was the “deliberate indifference” of elected officials to police brutality.
Floyd’s death also led the Minneapolis City Council to take steps to abolish the police department.