The family of George Floyd has filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the four police officers involved in his death on May 25.
The lawsuit was filed by an attorney acting as trustee for Floyd’s next of kin, including his children and siblings. The suit specifically names all four police officers who were charged in Floyd’s death as defendants: Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Kiernan Lane and Tou Thao.
The family says in the lawsuit that the Minneapolis Police Department “trains its officers to use deadly force in non-deadly circumstances.” They further say that the neck restraint that Chauvin used on Floyd, which is taught by the police department, “can lead to death.”
In describing the incident that led to George Floyd’s death, the lawsuit says that Floyd did not resist arrest, never threatened the officers and did not attempt to flee. Nonetheless, the family says, “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. 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.”
Floyd told police several times that he could not breathe but they kept him in that position for nearly nine minutes. The lawsuit says that at one point, Floyd said, “I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe. He’ll kill me. He’ll kill me.”
The lawsuit 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 lawsuit was filed in Minnesota federal court and is seeking unspecified damages.
Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, while the other officers are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. All four officers have been fired from the Minneapolis PD.
Floyd’s death was captured on video and sparked protests against police violence all across the country.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.