The family of George Floyd filed on Wednesday a civil lawsuit in federal court against the city of Minneapolis and the four police officers involved in his fatal arrest in May.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, the lawsuit claims that the former police officers in charge of his death violated Floyd’s constitutional rights and that the Minneapolis City “caused officers to act with impunity and without fear of retribution.”

Attorney Ben Crump, one of the lawyers representing Floyd’s family, also stated in the suit the Minneapolis City’s long history of deliberate indifference when it comes to the treatment of arrestees, particularly black men. “It was not just the knee of officer Derek Chauvin on George Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, but it was the knee of the entire Minneapolis Police Department on the neck of George Floyd that killed him,” said Atty. Crump.

Calling Floyd’s caser “a tipping point” and “a teachable moment for America,” Atty. Crump said they intended to make the suit financially prohibitive so police won’t kill marginalized people in the future. Floyd’s family is seeking unspecified financial damages on top of the appointment of a “receiver or similar authority” to ensure that Minneapolis properly trains its police officers.

In a separate statement, Attorney Antonio Romanucci, another lawyer who represents Floyd’s family, said it was unconstitutional for Minneapolis police officers to kneel on the necks of compliant offenders during an arrest. “If you don’t change the use-of-force policies and train, you will have continued failures, as in the death of George Floyd,” he said.

Video of Floyd’s arrest on Memorial Day shows former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck while Floyd cries out that he cannot breathe. Floyd died eight minutes after Chauvin held his knee on his neck.

Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder, while the three other police officers at the scene, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao, and J. Alexander Kueng, were charged with aiding and abetting. All four police officers were immediately fired.

The death of Floyd while in police custody prompted weeks of protests against police brutality around the globe.

George Floyd
The four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd. Hennepin County Sheriff

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