As the George Floyd trial starts, the cause of death remains nebulous

City agrees to a 27 million-dollar settlement with Floyd family

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The Minneapolis City Council approved a $27 million settlement Friday with George Floyd’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit. The Mayor is expected to approve the measure. Family members praised the settlement.

The Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, who botched riot control measures this past summer, said he was grateful to the Floyd family for their commitment to police reform policies, calling this moment a “once in a generation opportunity to truly effectuate change.” Council members supported laws that would defund the police and other extreme policies.

We are not familiar with the details of the settlement, but the dollar number seems extraordinarily high. We wonder what kind of settlement will be reached with the business owners on Lake Street, many of which were owned by minorities, will be.


Floyd died in police custody on May 25, 2020, when former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Source: USAToday

Later body-cam video shows that Floyd was disorderly shortly before he was taken to the ground. The police had prior contact with him and were likely cognizant of his violent criminal past.

George Floyd was not in the best of health when he encountered police officer Derek Chauvin on a South Minneapolis street corner shortly after 8 p.m. on May 25.

At 46, Floyd had three severely narrowed coronary arteries, including 90 percent blocked, autopsies show. His heart was slightly enlarged, probably the result of long-term high blood pressure.

Floyd was a smoker, and he had spent years using street drugs. On that evening, the autopsies reveal, Floyd had a large amount of fentanyl, a small amount of methamphetamine and THC — the active ingredient in marijuana — in his blood.” Source: Washington Post,

An issue at the Floyd trial will be the cause of death. Did Derek Chauvin cause Floyd’s death? All of the above scientific findings will be at play. The death is tragic, but the causal nexus (required to convict) is somewhat nebulous. Even though the state convinced the appellate court to reinstate the third-degree-murder charge, causation is still required.

  • Definition of third-degree murder: The unintentional killing of another through an eminently dangerous act committed with a depraved mind and without regard for human life. It also includes causing another’s drug-related death by selling, delivering, or administering a Schedule I or II controlled substance.
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