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March 15, 2021

$27 Million for George Floyd’s Family Isn’t Justice

The city of Minneapolis has effectively convicted Derek Chauvin before the trial starts.

We wondered last week whether former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin could expect a fair trial. After the city settled Friday with the family of George Floyd for an astonishing $27 million in a civil rights wrongful death lawsuit, we know the answer: It should be declared a mistrial.

In the aforementioned story, our Douglas Andrews recounted the evidence that Floyd died of something other than Chauvin’s knee — something of his own doing, like an overdose of fentanyl. Yet because Floyd’s death lit the fuse for urban violence that destroyed much of Minneapolis (likely prompting Target to abandon its headquarters there), and because that “mostly peaceful” violence then spread nationwide, the city is effectively convicting Chauvin while fleecing taxpayers to give Floyd’s family what is essentially the winning ticket in the legal lottery.

Perhaps that’s a strident characterization, but what else can you call such an outlandish reward for the tragic and untimely death of a petty criminal, wrongful or not?

“It’s going to be a long journey to justice. This is but one step on the journey to justice,” said family attorney Benjamin Crump. “This makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25, 2020, that George Floyd’s life matters, and that by extension, Black lives matter.”

Black lives do matter. George Floyd’s life mattered. But his death ignited a national fiasco of political posturing as morally bankrupt as almost anything we’ve seen.

Back in 2015, the early days of Black Lives Matter as an organizational force, Baltimore settled with the family of Freddie Gray, another petty criminal who died in police custody, for $6.4 million. That was shortly after Eric Garner’s family received $5.9 million from New York City. Last September, Breonna Taylor’s family received $12 million from Louisville for her death, the one-year anniversary of which was Saturday.

In 2015, we noted that settlements like this are typically based on earnings capabilities over the lifetime of the deceased. So where did these cities get such sums? And why are cities settling before the police officers involved even go to trial — heck, before the jury is even selected?

The answer is that this is effectively a form of reparations.

That’s been a buzzword in leftist circles for decades, and they mean it to be a massive transfer of wealth from those who did not perpetrate the crime of slavery to those who were not victims of it. Practically, reparations have been paid in the form of “Great Society” welfare — for more than 50 years. And in some ways, reparations are even a part of the Not COVID Relief bill just signed by President Joe Biden.

Justice has never been an easy thing for humans to mete out. Sadly, this settlement only furthers that sad legacy.

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