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Minneapolis Announces $27 Million George Floyd Settlement In Middle Of Jury Selection In Criminal Case

Minneapolis Announces $27 Million George Floyd Settlement In Middle Of Jury Selection In Criminal Case

We may find out tomorrow, when jury selection resumes, if the defense raises the issue. Tune in for Andrew Branca’s daily coverage for Legal Insurrection.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=revcXiCbPFw

There is a pattern of high profile wrongful death case settlements being announced in close proximity to a criminal trial involving the death. It happened in the death of Trayvon Martin just a couple of months before the George Zimmerman trial, and in the death of Freddie Gray as pre-trial proceedings against police officers were starting. Both criminal cases ended in not guilty verdicts (Zimmerman, Baltimore Police).

The jury selection in the criminal case against police officer Derek Chauvin started last week, and continues this week with the trial starting March 29. On Friday, March 12, 2021, the City of Minneapolis announced a $27 million settlement with Floyd’s family, after 7 jurors already had been seated, and more remain to be seated.

I assume this is not the first time in history a municipal civil settlement of wrongful death claims was announced in the middle of criminal trial proceedings involving the death, but I’m not thinking of another high profile example off the top of my head. (If readers find such an example, please post in the comments.)

This settlement announcement raises questions for the ongoing trial, as KARE 11 TV reports:

On Friday afternoon, a news conference with attorney Ben Crump and Floyd’s relatives ran simultaneous to ongoing jury selection at the Hennepin County Government Center. Floyd’s nephew, Brandon Williams, said the case remains “painful and hurtful, but today is a huge step in the healing process.”

Retired Judge LaJune Lange, who served in the Fourth District Judicial Circuit, called the $27 million a “truly historic settlement.” She points out, however, that the civil case follows a completely separate track from criminal proceedings against Chauvin and the three other officers charged in Floyd’s death…

However, legal expert Mike Bryant, who is not involved in the case, said it’s “very odd” to have a settlement occur in the middle of jury selection for a murder and manslaughter trial. He said the civil case might indirectly come up during witness testimony.

“It would come up, probably, in a situation where someone from Floyd’s family is testifying about him,” Bryant said. “That would probably be the most obvious way it could come up, if it comes up at all.”

But Bryant doesn’t think it would necessarily help one side over the other.

“You can make the argument both ways. You can make the argument [from the defense] it was about money, or you can make the argument [from the state] that the city is sending the clear picture that the police officers did something wrong and that’s why we’re paying them what we are,” Bryant said. “So, there’s two parts to it. Hopefully, it’s something the jury can keep out of their mind.”

I think the above discussion downplays the significance. which some lawyers think is problematic:

DAVID SCHUMAN: Prospective jurors in the Derek Chauvin trial can still get questioned about their thoughts on the settlement. Mary Moriarity, the former chief public defender in Hennepin County, says no one knows how the news will affect the seven already seated, though.

MARY MORIARTY: Most Jurors, I think, would perceive that as the city’s belief that Chauvin did murder George Floyd and that they are liable.

DAVID SCHUMAN: It’s assumed that it’d be very difficult to insulate any jury from hearing about the settlement. Joe Tamburino, a criminal defense attorney not affiliated with the case, lays out some options Chauvin’s team has.

JOE TANBURINO: They could make a motion for a mistrial based on an argument that there was some influence on the jury. They could make a motion to change venue. They could also ask to have the seven jurors who have been picked so far for the jury to come back and be requestioned.

We may find out tomorrow, when jury selection resumes, if the defense raises the issue. Tune in for Andrew Branca’s daily coverage for Legal Insurrection.

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Comments

healthguyfsu | March 14, 2021 at 9:42 pm

There’s a third way to spin the civil settlement. That the city settled because they recognize that their training protocols were part of the problem.

Of course, this assumes that the defense is not going to hammer home on the actual cause of death (the fentanyl overdose) and the officers were not at all responsible.

I guess there’s a way to marry the two concepts, but it depends on the route taken. The argument for improper training seems more likely to sway a jury that would react with emotional irrationality to the heavily edited video of the incident that circulated around the initial time of charges, if that is admitted as evidence.

    Joe-dallas in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 15, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I suspect that the settlement will have very little effect on the jury pool. The racists and socialists have already formed an opinion that chauvin is guilty such that the settlement will only change their opinion from guilty to very guilty. The educated and open minded most likely recognize the settlement as a stunt to influence the jury, and probably confirm in their minds the political motivation of the trial. The problem is that there are less than 25% of the jury pool that is open minded

    Vladtheimp in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 15, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    IMHO the most important question is: what are the terms of the Settlement Agreement? It will undoubtedly divulge whether the city is attempting to protect itself or screw its employees, the officers involved.

    Again, IMHO the defense attorneys should demand access to the actual agreement or move for a mistrial based on the prejudice and the inevitable conclusion that the settlement would taint the jury.

STUPIDITY OF ELECTED OFFICIALS – WASTING TAXPAYER $$

No one in their right mind would have settled this case at this time. The core issue involves whether the police action was racially motivated and resulted in Floyd’s death. The are reasons to believe that it was NOT racially motivated and the death was NOT caused by the police. The trial result will resolve these issues. My understanding is that Floyd ingested drugs – in an attempt to avoid being charged for dealing – an amount that was nearly 4x the dosage that would kill a person. That could account for his erratic behavior and the need for officers to subdue him on the ground.

The Mayor must know the facts. Must have seen the medical examiner’s report that shows the level of illegal drugs in Floyd’s body. Therefore, it is inexplicable why the Mayor and his legal advisors would greenlight a major settlement. The verdict is only a couple of months away.

This is the dumbest move of the month. Gratuitously throwing taxpayer money to a special interest group. Taxpayers of Minneapolis should be outraged. They are being played for fools.

    Arminius in reply to Ben Kent. | March 14, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    “….Therefore, it is inexplicable why the Mayor and his legal advisors would greenlight a major settlement. ”

    ????!?!?

    How can anybody be confused about this. It is eminently “explicable.” The mayor and city council declared the cops guilty of murder as soon as George Floyd died in police custody.

    Now they settled because they want Chauvin convicted. They are aware of the evidence that the only role the police played in Floyd’s death was calling an ambulance. This is their attempt to reinforce the false narrative that Chauvin et al are guilty of murder.

    And they did this because they want the pool of jurors to convict Chauvin and his fellow officers despite the evidence.

    I agree that no person in their right mind would do this but we’re talking about rabid socialists. Nobody in their right mind would be a socialist in the first place considering that ideology (both international socialism and national socialism) has killed more hundreds of millions of people in the 20th century alone than all ideologies combined in all of human history. But once these “by any means necessary” psychopaths get over the hurdle of conventional morality, as they always do when they realize they have to abandon either morality or their ideology that justifies their will to power, and double down on their murderous ideology then there is both madness to their method and method to their madness.

    How can anyone be confused about this? It makes perfect sense.

      artichoke in reply to Arminius. | March 15, 2021 at 12:58 am

      Agree 100%. This isn’t a close call, and it’s an outrageous development.

      As I recall, this is exactly what happened in the Treyvon Martin case, where the settlement was used to pay the lawyers to push for conviction. There were thousands of protesters out hammering the drum to get Zimmerman convicted, and somebody had to fund it. They certainly were not *all* volunteers.

Colonel Travis | March 14, 2021 at 9:58 pm

There was no reason to announce or give this settlement at this time, other than to influence a jury. It is the height of irresponsibility. The city is run by incompetent cowards.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Colonel Travis. | March 14, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    I’m cynical enough to think they knew exactly what they are doing. They want Chauvin convicted, thinking that will stop riots. It won’t. The “community ” will “celrbtate” the conviction.

      I’m cynical enough to believe that not only do they know what they’re doing, and not only do they want Chauvin convicted, they want the riots, too. Why should they want the paramilitary wing of the Democrat party not to riot? Destroying the economy and putting people out of work is the goal. Anybody notice a draconian COVID lockdown recently?

      Manufacturing a guilty verdict will mean the actual armed insurrectionists, i.e. those on the left, were justified all along in burning down large chunks of Minneapolis. And still are since the guilty proves Amerikkka is systemically racist and white supremacist.

      And the racists who have been turned into beggars will have no choice but to comply. A month ago if the racist “anti-maskers” didn’t comply with the lefts’ dictatorial demands they said the government shouldn’t vaccinate them. Next the hostage takers’ ransom demands will be comply or starve.

      I forgot to add a salient point undergirding my cynical view that the mayor of Minneapolis, the city council, the leftist governor of Minnesota, and the left in general have no desire to stop any riots.

      The threat of violence is simply jury intimidation, as is this settlement. Should the jury fail to get the message and deliver the “correct” verdict then the left will blame them for their promised violence; “Look at what you racists made us do!” The judge’s promise of confidentiality, that the court would protect the juror’s identities, won’t be worth a bucket of warm spit. They’ll be doxxed, their homes targeted, they’ll have to go into hiding, they’ll lose their livelihoods, and they’ll become unemployable. Their lives will be ruined.

      The left will make examples of them. Just like the Mongol hordes would raze cities that failed to surrender immediately to the ground, slaughtering every man, woman, and child. But giving lenient surrender terms to cities that meekly opened their gates upon the horde’s approach.

      Pour encourager les autres.

        artichoke in reply to Arminius. | March 15, 2021 at 1:00 am

        The judge approved Murder 3 to be added to the charges. Now the jury will feel pressure to convict on at least that.

        Clever of the city, and they couldn’t care less about the money being thrown away. It may even make them happy as wealth redistribution.

      For the intersectional masses nothing expresses joy like a few dozen overturned cop cars and scores of looted and torched small businesses.

    IMO, the reason to announce during the trial would be to influence, at a minimum, the narrative in the media and community, if not affect the trial purposely. In a movie, the Defense would ask for a mistrial on Monday morning and change of venue. How they think that officer can get a fair trial in the entire state of MN is beyond me.

1) If (guilty) – City pays for having racist cop with depraved mind.

2) else if(not guilty because actions not out of bounds with training) City pays for having bad training/SOPs.

3) else(not guilty-other) City pays because civil suit jury said pay.

No sane reason to pay before the criminal trial is over, except at a stupid attempt to prevent rioting, which is GOING to happen anyway. I suspect SOPs and training will be scrutinized to the nth degree and will lead the jury to find not guilty (along with the drugs in his system) and the answer would have been 2.

Also, I’m just going to say it. The fentanyl engorging fraudster was not worth 1 million. But his family sure got paid and that’s what it was all about, especially for the guy to the left of the mic not wearing a mask.

    In a sane world, the Police Officers Union would be more vocal. Why they aren’t being more public with support for these officers is odd to me. These officers are getting their lives ruined for following procedure and overdose.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to RobM. | March 15, 2021 at 4:32 am

      Unions extract tribute from workers who want to keep their jobs. Anything more is rare.

    hrhdhd in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 15, 2021 at 6:59 am

    But the nephew (!) feels better. (I can’t remember an aunt or uncle leaving me any money or my feeling entitled to any money from an aunt or uncle.)

    George Floyd Blood drug and novel psychoactive substances screens:

    1. Fentanyl 11 ng/mL
    2. Norfentanyl 5.6 ng/mL
    3. 4-ANPP 0.65 ng/mL

    4. Methamphetamine 19 ng/mL

    5. 11-Hydroxy Delta-9 THC 1.2 ng/mL;
    Delta-9 Carboxy THC 42 ng/mL; Delta-9 THC 2.9 ng/mL
    6. Cotinine positive

    7. Caffeine positive

    1,2,3 are Fentanyl and byproducts
    5,6 are marijuana and byproducts

    George Floyd Blood drug and novel psychoactive substances screens:

    1. Fentanyl 11 ng/mL
    2. Norfentanyl 5.6 ng/mL
    3. 4-ANPP 0.65 ng/mL

    4. Methamphetamine 19 ng/mL

    5. 11-Hydroxy Delta-9 THC 1.2 ng/mL;
    Delta-9 Carboxy THC 42 ng/mL; Delta-9 THC 2.9 ng/mL
    6. Cotinine positive

    7. Caffeine positive

    1,2,3 are Fentanyl and byproducts
    5,6 are marijuana and byproducts

    People who died from fentanyl overdose had readings from 0.75 ng/mL to an astounding 113 ng/mL. The average death dose was 9.96 ng/mL.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Neo. | March 15, 2021 at 11:47 am

      Yeah the only reason Floyd’s fentanyl level wasn’t higher is because he ingested a whole bunch of other crap (including methamphetamine) and the recency of his ingestion means he expired before more could be absorbed. I’d be willing to bet his GI contents contained a decent concentration of Fentanyl as well.

    bruceb7 in reply to healthguyfsu. | March 15, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Always appeared to be 100% a political tactic set up to incite the riots. Just sayin, Whomever, however, We’ve witnessed too much corrupt political tactics to “go back” and being blind. We see the game at hand and cynicism has its place in required review. We’ve come to learn that the dude who filmed the video( that was spread as wildfire by liberal media) was Antifa and paid. They knew Floyd was there, he was ill and he was high as a kite. They also knew his criminal record. The family was “provided for” and a seemingly obnoxious politically devised funeral, choreographed with political-weighted, race baiting speeches. Now its a huge settlement of millions most us would never see. All TOO choreographed somehow…and the “summer of love” and hatred was ignited”.

What’s Crump’s cut off the top?

George_Kaplan | March 15, 2021 at 12:03 am

If the judge declares a mistrial what then? Can the judge declare that the city has so prejudiced the case that there is no longer any option of Chauvin receiving a fair trial? On the other hand if the judge ignores the matter, and if the jury return a guilty verdict, couldn’t Chauvin’s lawyer appeal on the basis of the case being prejudiced?

Obviously IANAL but this all seems problematic to me.

That is going to buy a lot of bricks. I may invest in clay futures tomorrow.

Bucky Barkingham | March 15, 2021 at 7:15 am

Can the family of every drug abuser who OD’s in Minneapolis look forward to a big cash settlement from the city taxpayers?

Say the name: Ashli Babbitt!

Perhaps there is another dimension in play: Money Laundering. Taxpayer money will find its way to the Marxist terror groups that were part of the behind-the-scenes negotiations and earlier riots. Minneapolis continues to devolve. This ain’t over.

If I assume fraud, this easily makes sense. The Jackson/Sharpton shakedown racket is very jealous.

A large chunk of that $$ will go to the lawyers. Of course they’ll give part of it to the Marxist insurrectionists. It’s a business investment. The Marxists in the streets continue the violence and get arrested. The Marxist lawyers sue the city for “civil rights” violations. The Marxist mayor and city council members give away money that isn’t theirs.

Wealth produced by non-Marxists.

Wash, rinse, repeats. When you feed cats, you breed cats.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Arminius. | March 15, 2021 at 9:24 am

    A large chunk of that $$ will go to the lawyers.

    A “large chunk”? Who are you kidding. Most if not all the “settlement money” will end up in Benji’s hands as lawyers fees and commission. The family will get very little if any of the money. That’s how it goes with these massive settlements.

Cities all have insurance against civil suits and they settled after negotiating with their insurer. The city won’t pay a dime beyond their insurance premium. That’s why they settled.

    healthguyfsu in reply to f2000. | March 15, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Oh look we found the idiot that thinks insurance exists in a vacuum as a free giveaway.

    Insurance premiums will rise, for the city yes, and that will cost more taxpayer money. However, there’s more. Further though, all those business owner’s insurance premiums will rise as well. The city is already bilking businesses for taxes before they can rebuild the buildings that the city leaders allowed a bunch of thug mobs to destroy. Taxes will increase to cover the rising premiums. Homeowners insurance in the surrounding area may rise as well.

    This is how liberal wastelands are nurtured into oblivion while providing cover for a whole lot of government grift. Welcome to the next Detroit, Baltimore, etc.

Insurance is not driving this decision. The city is self-insured.

“Minneapolis city leaders said the settlement will be paid through the city’s self-insurance fund and reserves.”

See news article stating above at https://www.kare11.com/article/news/local/george-floyd/george-floyd-family-ben-crump-minneapolis-settlement-derek-chauvin-trial/89-4443d30d-0f3c-4d96-873b-aa944ff74604

    I started off with the “They choose poorly” meme here, but then I thought about it. To the politicians of Minneapolis, that ‘self-insurance fund’ is a giant pile of cash that they *can’t spend* unless, of course, they are sued and pay it out to somebody who will redirect that money to ‘friendly’ interests which in turn will provided campaign funds and volunteers for their re-election. An insurance company would (hopefully) provide a brake on dumping taxpayer funds into this self-serving swampland, but wherever there’s an unprotected pile of cash, there’s a politician willing to take it.

      healthguyfsu in reply to georgfelis. | March 15, 2021 at 11:43 am

      Yep, just a great example of grift….a self-insured pile of cash and corrupt politicians. What could possibly go wrong?

Minnesotans voted for this. Those who didn’t should start the process of finding a red state to move to. It’s come to that for all who live in a blue state but wish it was otherwise.

There won’t be a second civil war. Rather, red states will increasingly ignore the federal government. Becoming more and more independent in practice. Daring America’s de facto Chinese style communist party to do something about it.

As the differences between red and blue states increase and become more stark the migration from blue states to red states will accelerate in the decades to come.

MARY MORIARTY: Most Jurors, I think, would perceive that as the city’s belief that Chauvin did murder George Floyd and that they are liable.

Well, yes, but why would the jurors’ care what the city believes?

    Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | March 15, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    Because they want to. Appeal to authority is a common logical fallacy as we see when “global warming” is debated; those illiterate in the sciences believe that “consensus” somehow is part of the scientific method. And that they can’t form an informed opinion because they’re not scientists. Same thing with COVID; the “follow the (bounding) science” types play the same game; unless you’re a doctor you can’t have an opinion. The same thing will happen here. The defense, oddly, will use the Hennepin County Autopsy report concluding Floyd died of a fatal overdose. The prosecution will oddly use the private autopsy demanded by the Floyd family which concluded that Floyd died of a combination of a drug overdose and injury from Chauvin’s use of force. Dueling autopsies, and a jury pool selected from a population indoctrinated to believe they can’t form an informed opinion since they’re not subject matter experts.

    Appeal to author it works because it reinforces their own foregone conclusions and provides a useful substitute for thinking on their own. Some of the jurors already selected have said they believe Chauvin probably murdered Floyd, but the defense can’t waste peremptory strikes on the mildly hostile. Which leads me to suspect that there are others who are even worse based upon their answers to the written questions, and the defense is saving the peremptory strikes for them. But they won’t have enough.

    Which may be part of Judge Cahill’s plan all along. He didn’t make a final ruling on change of venue in November. He made a preliminary ruling, and said he could revisit the issue based upon further evidence. The jury selection process may well be the means he was banking on to provide the further evidence. He’ll no longer be dealing with the hypothetical question of whether or not it’s possible to have a fair trial in Minneapolis with an impartial jury. He’ll have an actual record; it’s impossible.

The judge should pull all who participated in this settlement into the courtroom and read them the riot act.

Than sentence them to jail for 180 days for contempt of court for violating the defendants right to a fair trial. Yes, I know the judge can’t actually do that but he should still say it just to drive the point home.

Than he should dismiss the jurors already seated and change the venue.

We are in the grip of a communist-led insurrection. All these “stupid” actions are deliberately inspired by the CCP to damage the US. They are not unfortunate, stupid actions, they are deliberate and cunningly designed to harm. Wake up! Look at the matador, not the cape.

The one white woman seems to be clutching a bottle and a voodoo doll. Could it be Chauvin ???

The state knows Chauvin is innocent of any murder charge. The prosecutor knows Chauvin is innocent of any murder charge.

The state and prosecutor wish to try and convict an innocent man, an example for the rest. To this end they will attempt to make sure the jury pool is tainted. By any means.

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