Mar 12, 2021
George Floyd Family, Attorney Press Conference Transcript March 12
The family and attorneys of George Floyd held a press conference on March 12, 2021. Read the transcript of the full briefing here.
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Ben Crump: (01:19)
Everybody set? Good afternoon. I am Attorney Ben Crump, along with Attorney Chris Stewart, Attorney Tony Romanucci, Attorney Justin Miller, Attorney Scott Masterson, Attorney Michelle Gilboe, Attorney Jeff Storms, Attorney Bhavani, and I’m just… Attorney Madeline Simmons and a great team of lawyers on our team. We are honored to stand here with the family of George Floyd, his brothers and sisters, his children, all his family, his daughter, Gianna. We are very grateful to stand here at this historic moment in the City of Minneapolis. We are very thankful to the leadership of the City of Minneapolis. And I will talk about that momentarily. But we want to start from the beginning.
Ben Crump: (02:50)
When George Floyd was horrifically killed on May 25th, 2020, it was a watershed moment for America. It was one of the most egregious and shocking documentations of an American citizen being tortured to death by a police officer for having his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. One of the worst ever witnessed in history.
Ben Crump: (03:39)
And history will judge us for how we responded to this tragedy. History will judge us on our commitment to the principles of equality in response to this tragedy. History will judge us on our commitment to the principles of justice on how we responded to this tragedy. And most of all, history will judge us on our commitment to our principles of humanity, of how we responded to this tragedy. And Mayor Frey, history won’t judge us just based on the eloquence of our words, but by the power of our actions.
Ben Crump: (04:45)
Council President Bender, when this tragedy happened and after the family had an independent autopsy and we were waiting to have the homegoing services for George Floyd, President Joseph Biden and former Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond, you remember, Chris, came to meet with the family of George Floyd. And his family, his sisters and brothers, his daughter, Gianna, was there. And the one thing I remember, Philonise, about that was sharing with President Biden what me and my eight-year-old daughter, Brooklyn often talk about. And I tell her, “In life, it’s not just enough to say you care, but you must show you care by your actions.” And I remember talking with Rodney and Philonise and all of them by our side in that very emotional meeting, as President Biden shared his empathy for the family and losing a loved one. I remember talking to him about what I talked to my daughter, Brooklyn, about. It’s not just enough for America to say that George Floyd life matters; we have to show that George Floyd life matters by our actions. It’s not just enough for America to say that black lives matter; we have to show that black lives matter by our actions.
Ben Crump: (06:51)
So, the family of George Floyd and our legal team are very grateful to Mayor Frey and the City Council for not just saying you care about George Floyd, but showing that you care about George Floyd; not just saying that black lives matter, but showing to the world that black lives matter. And we are very grateful and we applaud you for this great step of showing the world responsible leadership. The leaders of the City of Minneapolis have demonstrated by their actions and their commitment to equality, justice and humanity; today, they have shown that the life of George Floyd and black lives matter to them, to the people of Minneapolis. And on behalf of George Floyd’s family, we applaud this responsible city leadership.
Ben Crump: (08:04)
And we urge everybody to practice responsible leadership in remaining calm and engaging in peaceful protests for George Floyd and reflecting the same humanity of the man that we are remembering and honoring today in George Perry Floyd because, Brandon, I think it may have been on one of the social media posts, and I know you and he talked regularly on social media and texts, George Floyd himself, during the Ferguson unrest after Michael Brown was killed by the police there and everybody was saying, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” George Floyd shared on social media that everybody needs to remain peaceful as we stand up for justice for Michael Brown. So, we urge everybody in Minneapolis, everybody at 38th in Chicago, everybody around the world, let’s follow George Floyd’s example in being peaceful as we stand up for justice. Can we all do that? Can we all do that for George Floyd? Can we all do that for our children?
Ben Crump: (09:48)
It is my great honor to announce that George Floyd’s family, our legal team and the City of Minneapolis and its leaders have settled the civil lawsuit in the death of George Floyd. The settlement is not just historic because of the $27 million paid out, but for the impact on social justice, policy reforms and police reforms because the financial compensation most directly impact George Floyd and his family, the future of their family, but it is the policy reforms that affects all of us. And many would say, “That’s why the George Floyd Act, whether it’s here in Minneapolis, Mayor Frey, or the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, Councilman Ellison, that is being contemplated in Washington, D.C., it impacts all of us.” All of us. And that’s why this is so historic and significant.
Ben Crump: (11:10)
I must again really acknowledge Mayor Jacob Frey, Council President Lisa Bender, Councilman Jeremiah Ellison, and my dear friend, Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins for the extraordinary leadership to bring justice and change out of this terrible tragedy. For the city’s leaders and their lawyers, especially their City Attorney, Jim Rowader, the Floyd family and our legal team to reach this historic settlement, it says to America that we can do more than just point fingers, accuse one another and engage in more division. We can actually come together and make things better. We can reach an agreement about what form justice might take, not wait for it to be determined only by a historical discriminatory criminal justice system. But responsible leadership says, “We do what we can to try to determine how we make a better world for all of our children.” After the eyes of the world rested on Minneapolis in its darkest hour, now the city can be a beacon of hope and light and change for cities across America and across the globe. This would not have been possible, would not have happened without the extraordinary, progressive and deeply moral leadership of this city, council and its mayor. And for that, we do applaud you publicly as we have applauded you privately. I look at Philonise and Brandon and Rodney, and I’m thinking of Bridgett and Zsa Zsa, as well as LaTonya and especially Gianna and their other loved ones, and I think about George Floyd. And I pray for them on this journey for justice, as I implore you all to pray for them. I mean, it’s going to be a long journey, a long journey to justice. This is but one step on the journey to justice.
Ben Crump: (14:20)
We have to remember in the 10 months since we learned his name, we have come to know George Floyd as a larger-than-life figure, literally, with an even larger personality and, Tony Romanucci, as we learned, with an even bigger heart. George Floyd knew that being a large, imposing black man made him a target and put him at risk. That’s why, Chris, he tried to deescalate the situation that day. Kaarin, he was assuring the officers that he was not resisting and that he did not pose a threat. And, Justin, he was literally doing what black people do on a daily basis in America, when they have encounters with law enforcement. We try to tell them that we’re legitimate people. [inaudible 00:15:18] we try to tell them, “We’re not the type of person that you are pre-judging me to be. We are people, human beings just like you. And we just want to be treated like you treat others.” That’s what George Floyd was doing. He wasn’t posing a threat. You look at that video for yourself. Why would they do that to a human being?
Ben Crump: (15:48)
George Floyd had more witnesses to his torture and death than any other person, black or white, in American history. Over 50 million people have clicked to watch that video. And once you see that video, you can never unsee that video. And that’s why George Floyd is changing the world because we know, America, we’re better than this. We know, America, that we’re more just in this. We know, America, that we’re more humane than this. In this historic agreement, the largest pre-trial settlement in a police civil rights wrongful death case in U.S. history makes a statement that George Floyd deserved better than what we witnessed on May 25th, 2020, that George Floyd life matters and by extension black lives matter. It sends a message that the unjust taking of black life will no longer be written off as trivial, unimportant or unworthy of consequences.
Ben Crump: (17:25)
And I digress just for a moment as we acknowledge this historic milestone to recognize that tomorrow will mark the one year passage of time since our sister, Breonna Taylor, was killed in Louisville, Kentucky and the fact that her and George Floyd will be forever linked in history as two people who were taken from us at the hands of the people who were supposed to protect and serve them during the COVID-19 pandemic, where it seems like everything else in America has shut down except implicit bias and police excessive use of force. And so, Philonise, I know you and Rodney had just spoke with Tamika Palmer or text with Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mother. And it just demonstrates for all of us we’re inconceivably linked together as not just black people, not just as Americans, but as human beings. And we have empathy for one another. She was celebrating and congratulating the Floyd family, even though she’s dealing with what only one could imagine is the worst nightmare any parent could ever conceive.
Ben Crump: (19:21)
And so, nothing will ever wipe out the Floyd’s family aching loss, but this settlement and the respect it shows the family will allow healing to begin, Council President Bender. It will help to heal the City of Minneapolis and the minds and hearts of black and white people who still suffer anxiety and nightmares and post-traumatic stress from watching the 8 minutes and 46 seconds of George Floyd tortured and killed at the hands of those who were supposed to protect and serve them. Those 526 seconds is enough to cause anybody post-traumatic stress. And we say to everybody, black, white, brown and red, “We’re better than this. We’re better than those 526 seconds.” Mayor Frey, as we talked about, a man begging for just humanity, just take your knee off his neck.
Ben Crump: (20:38)
As you will hear more in a minute, this city has already enacted some very profound model police reforms in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Our legal team is committed to support the city in pushing through additional reforms, Mayor Frey, to ensure that they can hold officers accountable for bad conduct and never let a union contract force them into having to tolerate bad policing. We have to speak truth to power. George Floyd deserves that. Breonna Taylor deserves that. Mayor Frey, you have our word, our voices and our might to help you muscle through additional changes that will transform policing in Minneapolis and hopefully, policing in America, Councilman Ellison, Council Vice President Jenkins, Council President Bender.
Ben Crump: (21:57)
And I say this to our national leaders. We hope the example that you all are setting here in Minneapolis will inspire and embolden the United States Senate to join their colleagues in the United States House of Representatives, led by the Congressional Black Caucus in passing meaningful reform legislation in the name of George Floyd, as Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee reminds us, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, because like the activists say his name, in the halls of Congress, with the passage of that legislation, they will always say George Floyd’s name.
Ben Crump: (22:51)
Finally, Kaarin, I am most proud, with the family and our legal team, of the leadership of Mayor Frey, Council President Bender, Councilman Ellison and Vice President Jenkins for engaging in a partnership with the family that they can take the lead on being able to contribute $500,000 of this settlement to be committed to help lift up the historically black neighborhood that engulfs 38th and Chicago Avenue, where George Floyd lived and died while he was here in Minneapolis, be able to uplift the black businesses that have suffered, Vice President Jenkins, such a toll in the past 10 months.
Ben Crump: (23:51)
For the past 10 months, people came to 38th in Chicago to lay down flowers and pay their respects. I believe people, Chris, will always come to 38th in Chicago, but they will come to remember George Floyd, but I pray that we can make this memorial more than just that. Philonise, we want to imagine, if in the future, because of your family’s help and commitment and giving back to this community, that when people come to 38th in Chicago they will witness a marker of a turning point in civil rights; they will learn more about black history; they will support the thriving black businesses that were able to survive not only COVID, but this terrible tragedy.
Ben Crump: (25:02)
… COVID but this terrible tragedy where George Floyd was killed and they will be able to celebrate black culture. This is our vision, united, the family and the city leadership. This is the family’s belief what is proper in preserving the legacy of George Floyd here in Minneapolis. It was his daughter Gianna, who said her daddy changed the world. And I know her mother, Roxie, and everybody know that he certainly has. I thank the leadership of the City of Minneapolis for elevating and memorializing George Floyd’s legacy today, and making a statement in the clearest terms possible. Black lives matter. Black lives matter. At this time, you will get to hear from two of the most passionate, committed, skillful, and I guess, skilled beyond anything that you would’ve imagined in your local community. But they’re not just good because they care about the court cases, they are skilled because they truly care about their clients. You will hear from my brother, Chris Stewart, who hails from Atlanta, Georgia. And then you will hear from my brother, Tony Romanucci, who hails from Chicago, Illinois. Chris Stewart. [inaudible 00:27:14].
Chris Stewart: (27:22)
It’s something that the two most viral videos that deal with George Floyd are his death and life. The video of Gianna Floyd saying, “My daddy will change the world.” And who would have known that from the mouth of a babe, it would actually come true? Who would have known what that change would be because it’s not just a large financial number, it’s deeper than that. The number today changes evaluations and civil rights for a black person when they die. Because what you don’t know is the rigged game that we always have to play when we take one of these cases. Because African-Americans are not valued high when they are murdered by law enforcement in these cases. And we are changing that precedent because as we told you when we filed this lawsuit, six, seven months ago, we are here to support the actual understanding that black lives matter. But you will start understanding that black value matters.
Chris Stewart: (28:29)
And what happens is that trickles down to decisions in the communities across this country. When there’s a city council or a mayor deciding, “Oh, should we get rid of no-knock warrants? Should we get rid of chokeholds? Do we want to change these policies?” They have 27 million reasons now why they should. And that will make decisions happen. That will make accountability happen because yes, it’s sad seeing a video of a man being tortured and murdered, but it’s worse having to write a check to take care of something that should have been prevented in other cities. And that’s what this is a blueprint, and this doesn’t happen often.
Chris Stewart: (29:08)
You don’t get a city council that cares. I know I run into a lot that don’t. You don’t get a mayor that will step out there and risk himself to try and get this done with city council. You don’t get a city attorney who actually worked with us and it wasn’t a fight all the time. That should be a blueprint across this country. I tried to say that in Walter Scott years ago, “Here is a blueprint.” We changed policies. There was a record number. We work together. We held the demonstrations peacefully and change happened in that area. What will happen to here? And what will happen across this country because understand that this isn’t over. Those officers will be held accountable. There is a prosecution team that actually cares and is fighting.
Chris Stewart: (29:59)
And if you need a reminder, just think of the George Floyd case and that if you don’t get police in correct, if you don’t make these changes, if you don’t fix the policies that are happening, then you’ll be seeing us again. Because we are making sure that black lives and black value will be understood. It was an honor fighting for this family, fighting for Gianna. She had school, which could not be here with her mother. There’s been no bigger joy in my life, working with Ben and fighting for not just the man, George Floyd, but the purpose of what George Floyd changed will become across this country. Increasing policing, making it better and understanding the value that will be assigned to African-Americans in these cases. Thank you all.
Antonio Romanucci: (31:06)
Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Antonio Romanucci. Everybody calls me Tony. I’m from Chicago, Illinois. I’m one of the attorneys of the George Floyd family and I hope again to introduce the entire legal team soon. I do want to thank my esteemed co-counsel who spoke before me, my brother, Ben Crump, Chris Stewart. I do want to take a special moment to thank Mayor Jacob Frey, the city council. I wanted to acknowledge you now, and again, later, I have some special remarks. And of course, the city attorney, Jim Rowader, and also the city attorneys, Brian Carter and Tracey Fussy, for working together.
Antonio Romanucci: (31:51)
And I want to bring you back just for a moment now to May 24th. George had no idea. He had no clue that when he laid down for rest that night and he closed his eyes, that the following day would be his last that he would breathe. He didn’t know that the last two words that he would utter on this earth, “Mama. Mama.” Would not only be his last words, but would actually be the words of a messenger. Because what you see here on this stage today doesn’t happen. You don’t see a concert, of people who sit across the table from each other and typically fight it out in a courtroom. Standing here together, not so much proudly announcing, but in partnership announcing a very historic settlement. And as Chris said, the amount may be historic. I know Ben pointed it out, but really the historic part of it will be in the change that George Floyd brought about. George doesn’t know what he has accomplished and what he has done, but his family are going to be his rays that will continue to shine down upon us all and ensure that his name will never be forgotten and will be inscripted with permanent change, not only in this city, but in this state, but also our country. And it can’t happen without this community that’s standing on this stage. We are so pleased that this settlement includes $500,000, which will be funneled to some of the most needy and important businesses of the neighborhood of 38th and Chicago. We will see that that money gets spent in the right businesses, the right areas of that community.
Antonio Romanucci: (34:17)
This case, as Ben said, is a watershed event for civil rights in America and around the world. And it does. It does. I can tell you that the feeling does feel that this is a turning point for police reform and changes, but that’s only because there were conscious choices that were made to do so because this wasn’t just, or will be a check that’s written, there’s a lot more behind that. And that’s what you have to appreciate that’s happened here are the conscious choices of the Minnesota City Council and its attorneys and its executive branch, such as Mayor Frey, to do the right thing.
Antonio Romanucci: (35:05)
Police in Minneapolis, they need to commit themselves to substantial improvements in culture and practices. Now, this is also a wake-up call to every police department around the nation to make swift change because if you don’t make swift change, what happens? It’s called needless and preventable death. Needless and preventable serious injury. It’s a call for lawmakers all over the country, and especially in the United States Senate, as Ben pointed out, they must pass. They must vote to pass the George Floyd Police and Reform Act. We know that the president will sign it once it gets to his desk.
Antonio Romanucci: (35:52)
What a beautiful thing you think of the Memorial that is born out of tragic death. If we can have permanent federal changes, not only local changes because of those last two words that were uttered, “Mama. Mama.” When somebody says they can’t breathe, what is it about that statement that should not be believed? When someone is kneeling on someone’s neck and they say, “I can’t breathe.” That knee should be taken off. With this settlement, the community of 38th and Chicago, the citizens of Minneapolis, have felt some of that pressure relieved. Their knee… There is no knee on their neck, but there will always be at some level a knee on the neck of this family and for what they have to go through. And that’s where the money part comes in to try and bridge that gap. But it won’t. It won’t until they know that there will not be another one of these that happened.
Antonio Romanucci: (37:14)
George did not need warrior policing that day. What he needed was help. I can tell you now from a factual basis, and this is so important. Listen to some of the great things that the City of Minneapolis has done that are implemented right now to prevent what we saw in that video tape. Already, the city has modified its use of force policies so that any hands that ever wind up on a subject from a police officer must be reported. You think of that, any hands on anyone now is considered force and the police must know about it. Commanders must know about it. Minneapolis has tightened its requirement for body-worn cameras. It’s creating new policies on deescalation. So important. New policies on disengaging also when required. And you cannot underestimate the importance of the social services programs that they’ve implemented to help people, to make sure that they don’t die needless deaths.
Antonio Romanucci: (38:35)
But as we say in the courtroom, partial justice is no justice. The George Floyd family wants whole justice. And so we demand more changes if true reform is true to happen. It’s true to happen. What’s been done so far is tremendous. And we all applaud the City of Minneapolis, but we want more. And guess what the City of Minneapolis has said, “Yes.” They want more too. And we’re going to work together to make sure that that more does happen. We commit to that. What do we want to do? We want to be working to ensure that this arbitration process, these union contracts that have become an absolute Python grip on the police departments. I don’t want to break unions, but you got to give the power to where it belongs. You got to give the power of discipline to those police chiefs that when they know something bad happens, that they can take that action.
Antonio Romanucci: (39:49)
And if we can pass that bill, which I understand needs state passage, that legislation, think of how great it would be to name that for George Floyd. We will also be working with the City of Minneapolis on establishing a use of force panel to review all instances of use of force. So, have hands go on somebody, well, somebody’s got to review whether or not that was reasonable, whether it was necessary. We also want to establish a quality assurance unit to ensure that the city’s new reform measures are being strictly adhered to. One of the other programs, which you cannot underestimate the gravity of it or the importance of it, is establishing an early intervention system with analytics to ensure that if a police officer doesn’t belong in the force because of his past, because he’s showing a pattern of discipline or non-discipline that he be removed. Once you remove the bad police officers and keep the ones that we want, the good ones, you’re going to see much better practices on the street.
Antonio Romanucci: (41:09)
If all of these are implemented, Minneapolis would become the model and what a great thing that would be in the face of an historic and tragic death. But we’re not done because we did talk about that $500,000 that the family has committed to 38th and Chicago. Now, what we’re going to do, Minneapolis and Minnesota is listening, we are challenging the corporations of this state and of this city to match those $500,000. Let’s go. Let’s show that you really care. 500,000 isn’t enough. It’s a lot of money, but let’s go. So, the challenge is out there and we await your call because if you don’t call, we will. We should always be looking forward and not back, never ever. And I was here in those days after George Floyd died. Never ever should this city ever have to suffer again like it did. That’s a hard no. Lastly, I don’t want there to be any surprises, but if the state’s going to name a bill after George Floyd, would the city consider something after George Floyd too? Let’s memorialize them in the city and the state if we can. One that will be remembered in perpetuity for a man who did not deserve to die. A man who will never be able to watch his daughter Gianna grow up to be that woman that she will be, the lady that she is, to fish with his brother, Philonise, to taxed with his nephew, Brandon, to never hang out with his brother, Rodney. He will no longer be a spark in those lives.
Antonio Romanucci: (43:24)
So, as I wrap up my remarks, I want to go back to those May days. And that day that I remember being on the phone with the family and Mayor Frey. You’re going to think it’s easy for me to say this right now, but I can tell you, I was a listener on that call that day when Mayor Frey was talking to the family. And I told this to Mayor Frey today, “I said, I’m happy to meet you for the first time in person because I wanted to see the eyes of sincerity that I heard the voice on the phone that day.” He meant what he said. They’ve all meant it. They’ve all stood up. And they’re all trying to take back that moment in time, which can’t be taken back and trying to restore justice to a man who will never breathe again, who will never be able to call to his mama again and never be with his family again.
Antonio Romanucci: (44:28)
So, this day is the result of thousands of hours of work by the legal team. And if I may, again, because they deserve every single bit of credit, please indulge me and listen to the names I speak of this legal team for the great work that they’ve done. Benjamin Crump, Christopher Stewart, Justin Miller, Nicolette Ward, Ian Fallon, Bhavani Raveendran, who is here today, Jeffrey Storms, Madeleine Simmons, Scott Masterson, Michelle Gilboe, Alexa Ely, Kyle Nelson. God strike me if I forgot anybody. But also the people that were behind the scenes that were so helpful, [Marina Fontana, Michelle Lubin 00:45:18], Jennifer McGuffin, [Kelly Snowden 00:45:23]. And again, I thank the city council, its members, the city attorneys.
Antonio Romanucci: (45:32)
To the Floyd family on this deeply profound day, you have my highest personal respect forever for what you have endured, the grace you have shown through all of this, the honor and the privilege that you’ve given me to stand before you with this legal team and the privilege to have represented you. You will all forever be a part of our lives.
Ben Crump: (46:18)
And now we will hear from the leadership of the city beginning with Mayor Jacob Frey. And thank you again for years to come.
Jacob Frey: (46:31)
Ben Crump: (46:31)
Tremendously this year.
Jacob Frey: (46:32)
Antonio Romanucci: (46:32)
I forgot to introduce you.
Jacob Frey: (46:40)
It’s okay. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Ben Crump, Mr. Tony Romanucci, Mr. Chris Stewart, for your partnership in furtherance of justice. The last year, more than any period in recent memory has delivered countless moments that will define our trajectory in Minneapolis for decades and generations to come. Today is one such moment. A centuries in the making, reckoning around racial justice struck Minneapolis like a thunderbolt. And that strike reverberated across the entire globe as we all stood and watched as George Floyd was killed. Every Minneapolis resident, every American, remembers where they were when they first saw it. When they first were forced to process the incomprehensible, recognizing our historic shortcomings and what we need to do to improve going forward.
Jacob Frey: (47:54)
There are certain events like that in world history that seemed to suspend time where the world stopped and those moments tend to stick with us. And our black community has endured deep and compounding trauma over this last year, none perhaps more acutely than George Floyd’s family standing with me right now. I cannot begin to thank them enough, Rodney, Brandon, Philonise, and [Kita 00:48:29] for their strength and their courage, their resiliency, and their voices willing to push us to go forward, not just right now, but well into the future. It is their work that is honoring the collective legacy and honoring their brother, their son, their father.
Jacob Frey: (48:54)
And amid unprecedented loss, amid unprecedented pain, we’d now have a once in a generation opportunity to truly effectuate change. Change that has alluded policymakers, activists, advocates, community members for far too long. Some of those laws and policies on our books today, yes, they were built and put into place with good intention, but the passage of time has caused them to be calcified. It’s caused them to be kept in place at times by cynical politics. And as a result that carefully built trust over time has been lost, has been injured, lives have been indeed cut short. And our city is so grateful to the Floyd family for their warm embrace of meaningful and overdue arbitration of reform and their commitment to work towards justice and peace and safety at 38th and Chicago. I want to thank-
Jacob Frey: (50:03)
38th and Chicago. I want to thank Jim Rowader, our city attorney, Tracey Fussy, Brian Carter, and our entire city attorney’s office, our communications team and everyone that has worked so diligently and tirelessly towards this point and have worked tirelessly over the last nine and ten months.
Jacob Frey: (50:23)
The work they have done is extraordinary. I also have to acknowledge Ben, Tony, and Chris, and the entire legal team who also put in massive and painstaking work to make today possible. I know they are resolute in their determination to see justice. I know they are resolute in their dedication to see longterm and lasting impact not just in Minneapolis but nationwide.
Jacob Frey: (50:53)
They reached out to dig in and discuss the reforms that have taken place. They did not stop with a settlement. They did not flinch when we raised by big solutions for big challenges and we’ll be so grateful to count them as partners in this very important reform work that lies ahead.
Jacob Frey: (51:11)
So today’s settlement reflects our shared commitment to advancing racial justice, our sustained push for progress, our commitment to Minneapolis and our commitment and compassion to one another. We need to be unrelenting. We need to be unapologetic in our pursuit of a more equitable local government and a more just approach to community safety in our city and we will be. Thank you. Mr. [inaudible 00:51:43].
Ben Crump: (51:51)
Mr. Mayor, thank you for your eloquent words but more importantly thank you for your action to you and all the city leadership. I will be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the other family members of George Floyd. His sister Bridget was here earlier this week, had a death in the family of an uncle in North Carolina that she had to be present. His brother Terrence, his sisters again, LaTonya and [Zsa Zsa 00:52:26], his older sisters who helped raise him along with their mother and father and as Philonise and Brandon and Rodney will tell you, all grew up in a little small home with not much more than love and a place called Cuney Homes, Houston, Texas. So at this time, you will hear from Philonise Floyd first, the brother of George Floyd. [inaudible 00:53:12]
Philonise Floyd: (53:17)
Thank you all so much. While I’m relieved that the settlement has been taken care of, I like to thank the Minnesota, I like to thank our legal team, for standing with us throughout all times, especially Ben. Ben has been here with us for so long through all the times I needed to speak with him at night, about my brother, about different things. So I thank the state of Minnesota for getting this settlement taken care of but even though my brother is not here, he’s here with me in my heart. Because if I could get him back, I would give all of this back. Him, I know that he’s with us and he’s standing up right now knowing that we have the opportunity to be able to fund low income African-American communities, and that’s big in our heart as my family stand here because we are a product of our environments. We come from low income, we come from the Cuney Homes. We’re a big family.
Philonise Floyd: (54:43)
I’m going to miss my brother. The world, he has made a movement, and everybody is standing with us in solidarity and I want to be able to thank all of the supporters, all of the protesters, for standing, especially during a pandemic when you didn’t have to. You put your lives on the line. There’s nothing I can do to be able to repay you for that because you show who you are and who you were at that time. So one thing that the world needs to know, America, we need to heal. This nation needs healing. Our family needs healing. There have been times where I had to go and see my brother because he had tears pouring out his eyes thinking about our brother. So everybody around this world who helped march with us, on the frontline, or on the couch, it doesn’t matter. Your heart was in a good place and I’d like to thank everyone for that. Thank you all so much. May George live in power. [inaudible 00:56:08] City of Minneapolis.
Ben Crump: (56:18)
Thank you Philonise for those heartfelt words. Now you will hear from Rodney Floyd, George’s baby brother.
Rodney Floyd: (56:29)
You know we would like to thank the state of Minneapolis, the protesters that’s been here since day one and love to thank the Mayor Frey, would like to thank the councilmen and women of Minnesota for passing this judgment, but this is a small big step in the George Floyd legacy and thank you all very much for supporting us and we’re going to uphold his legacy, speaking his name and thank you guys for everything.
Ben Crump: (57:14)
Thank you Rodney and this next young man is a nephew of George but as you all have learned by now, they are a traditional black family and it takes a village. Brandon grew up in the household with George and George was more like a father figure to him than an uncle. They talked constantly and it’s with an especially heavy heart that Brandon comes before you today because they lost one of their childhood friends just a couple days ago, but he still wanted to be here to be with his family in Minneapolis. Brandon Williams.
Brandon Williams: (58:04)
Thank you man. First off, to start I want to thank the city of Minneapolis, its leadership. Special thank you to the mayor. All of our attorneys for all of the fighting and the hard work that you guys put in and also to Ben, who’s always a phone call away, no matter if it’s late at night or early in the morning. He’s always there and I appreciate it. I know he’s a busy man and takes the time out to be there so we appreciate you man.
Ben Crump: (58:35)
Brandon Williams: (58:38)
Today, the settlement made history. I think that George made history 10 months ago. We all had to witness that excruciating video and it’s painful and hurtful. But today, it’s a huge step in the healing process. When I say healing it’s not just the pain that our family feels, hopefully there’s a healing in the way that policing is carried on. I think that in those kind of encounters, a lot of times been a black man or a black woman in America you fear encounters with police. They’re supposed to protect and serve. I feel that had the offer de-escalated the situation, we’re not here doing this press conference and George is still alive. I think that I speak for myself and my family when I say that we’d give the settlement back gladly to have George still here with us today. No amount of money can cure this pain, this heartache. No amount of money can bring him back to be here for his children [inaudible 00:59:50] make memories and watch them grow. Excuse me, I’m sorry.
Ben Crump: (01:00:04)
Take your time. Take your time.
Brandon Williams: (01:00:06)
Every time I come here, I get a heavy heart and a lot of emotions start to pour. That’s all I have, thank you.
Ben Crump: (01:00:18)
Thank you Brandon. Council president and Mr. Mayor, [inaudible 01:00:32] Philonius if you have a minute, stand up.
Ben Crump: (01:00:35)
I think it’s important that we just take a moment. You’ve heard this family pour out their heart and they did so in a real way because even though this is a moment to be celebrated, still every day they wake up and they think about George and the manner he was taken. That’s something that we can never give them the justice they want because the justice would be for George to be here. So all we are trying to do is hold people accountable and so I’m grateful that the city is committed to making sure there’s accountability and trying to prevent another family from going through what George went through. I know Attorney Stewart talked about … You think you have a policy where it won’t happen again, but we got to really commit. We’ve really got to commit America that this won’t happen again. Not like this. We cannot. Therefore I just have to say a word [inaudible 01:02:08] emotion from these family members. Mayor Frey.
Jacob Frey: (01:02:12)
Thank you Mr. Crump and thank you to the family for those incredibly powerful words. Like to thank our city council and have Council President Bender up. Thank you Council Vice President Jenkins and Council Member Ellison as well and I’ll note that in fact the vote today was a unanimous one. Council President.
Ben Crump: (01:02:38)
Thank you for your leadership.
Lisa Bender: (01:02:38)
Thank you. Thank you Mayor and thank you for the family, in particular for the power and emotion we’re seeing today. I’m Lisa Bender, I’m the president of the Minneapolis City Council and we did today, as the Minneapolis City Council, unanimously approve this $27 million settlement in the civil lawsuit filed by George Perry Floyd’s family against the City of Minneapolis. On behalf of the entire city council, I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. We know that no amount of money can ever address the intense pain and trauma caused by his death for George Floyd’s family and to so many people in our community who are grieving.
Lisa Bender: (01:03:29)
Minneapolis has been fundamentally changed by this time of racial reckoning. The Minneapolis City Council is united in working together with our community, with George Floyd’s family, to bring about a more equitable future for our city. I just want to say Mr. Crump, my girls are about the same age as your daughter, a little bit older than Gianna. I wasn’t planning to say this today but hearing your emotion, we talk about Mr. Floyd all the time in our house. Mr. George, we say, and we talk about what happened and we talk about our responsibility to step up in our family and you know what? I just want you to know how deeply we’re with you. We are with you to go to the Senate to fight for change. We are with you to support our mayor and chief in implementing reform. We are with you to reshape safety in Minneapolis. We are with you to have the deep conversations in every single household in this city that is needed so that those little girls have a different future together.
Lisa Bender: (01:04:50)
So I just want to again thank the family so much for their leadership and their generosity in supporting the community of Minneapolis, in supporting and investing in 38th and Chicago. I want to introduce my colleague, our incredible Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins, who represents the 8th Ward and as I do I also just want to acknowledge the leadership of Council Member Jeremiah Ellison who was part of our mediation team and whose leadership was crucial in this and so much more of the challenges that are facing our city. Council Vice President. Thank you.
Andrea Jenkins: (01:05:32)
Thank you President Bender and all of you that are standing on stage with me today as we make this historic announcement. My name is Andrea Jenkins, I’m the vice president of the Minneapolis City Council, and I can’t start my comments without just offering my deep condolences to all the family members that are here on stage with us. All the members of the Floyd family that you mentioned, Ben, that aren’t able to be here with us in this room but are absolutely here with us in spirit. George Floyd’s life mattered and we are here today to honor his life and his legacy.
Andrea Jenkins: (01:06:36)
The killing of George Floyd and police custody last Memorial Day has forever transformed the City of Minneapolis. A city that is reeling from pain and so much loss, and as you’ve heard from our speakers today, it has transformed a family, forever changed by the traumatic and sudden loss of a brother, father, a son.
Andrea Jenkins: (01:07:10)
I know firsthand about that trauma and pain of losing a loved one while in the custody of the police. My first cousin that my mother raised as her son, my little brother. You know you said this is a traditional black family, I come from a traditional black family too, and we always take care of our own. Just like … Was it Rodney that was … Brandon that was in the household, that’s how my little brother was. He was a part of our family and his name … This was before hashtags, Ben. He didn’t have a hashtag. We tried to get a lawyer to help us out. Nobody would take the case. He had drugs, he swallowed those drugs in police custody, and he died. Nobody would take his case. Too many families, too many black and brown mothers and sisters and cousins and brothers know the same pain that your family is feeling, and it must stop. It has to stop. Hopefully this action today as Chris said, there will be 27 million reasons for it to stop.
Andrea Jenkins: (01:08:59)
Floyd’s death sparked a racial reckoning around this nation and around the world. A reckoning felt deeply here in Minneapolis, at ground zero, two blocks from where I live, and I look out my window, I see a big portrait of George Floyd every day. This intersection has prompted this city to re-imagine how public safety, how community safety, how all of safety that keeps everybody in our community safe, not just some people in our communities.
Andrea Jenkins: (01:09:45)
Out of transformational pain must come transformational change. This is required of Minneapolis, and we are committed to lead the way because Black Lives Matters in this city. Not just George Floyd’s life but all life. I want to just really take a moment to acknowledge the enormous generosity of the family to commit resources to help out the black businesses in that community around 38th and Chicago and on behalf of those community members that I represent, I say thank you. Thank you so much.
Andrea Jenkins: (01:10:41)
As this trial progresses, I do want to call for peace. I want to echo what Attorney Ben Crump said, that George Floyd called for peace when Mike Brown was killed. I want to ask for calm in our streets, regardless of the outcome of that trial. The city, the council, the mayor, the department heads, everybody at the city of Minneapolis is committed to bringing justice, in more ways than just through our criminal justice system.
Andrea Jenkins: (01:11:28)
We know that we cannot control the actions of the past but what we do have control of is actions in the future. In the days and weeks ahead, we will move forward together to begin a healing process. Transformational healing, and today is where that healing begins and I just want to thank the Floyd family for their courage, their commitment, their perseverance and fortitude for showing us the way and leading us towards justice. Thank you. Thank you so much, [inaudible 01:12:12]. Thank you, God bless you.
Ben Crump: (01:12:20)
You know, Council President Bender says something, I asked her and Philonius and Mayor Frey just to step for a second if you would. Because you do want to Chris, give an example to those in the United States Senate that we’re better than this and there are more things that bring us together than to separate us. So if we can just join hands for a second. This is about George. This is about George Floyd, and the betterment of America. Together, we are an example not only for Minneapolis, but for the United States of America, and hopefully, the United States Senate can come together like the leadership and the family came together, Vice President Jenkins, and we can give President Biden a bill that will be respectful of bearing George Floyd’s name in the George Floyd Justice & Policing Act.
Ben Crump: (01:13:44)
This vision goes to the United States Senate to say that we’re better than this, America. So thank you all. At this time, if Jim Rowader, who has just been dogmatic in trying to work to a resolution, Attorney Stewart, Attorney Romanucci, we’re going to start the Q&A and hopefully one of us attorneys can answer your questions or direct you to the people who can so Jim you want to say anything before we start the Q&A?
Jim Rowader: (01:14:24)
No, I’m just grateful and honored to be able to be with everybody here today and certainly all the work that I’ve got to experience with Ben Crump here. It’s been just transformational.
Ben Crump: (01:14:36)
Transformational on every level. So we’re opening it up for Q&A and Jim, to you and your entire staff. As Tony Romanucci said, this doesn’t happen unless people are committed to transformational change from transformational pain.
Speaker 6: (01:14:53)
I have a question. How did you all work with the people who have been caretaking the area in George Floyd Square in coming to your –
Speaker 7: (01:15:03)
… people who have been care taking the area in George Floyd Square in coming to your settlement?
Ben Crump: (01:15:04)
How did you work with people at 38th and Chicago?
Speaker 7: (01:15:14)
Yes, 38th and Chicago that’s correct. How have you all worked with the caretakers of George Floyd Square who we have released a list of demands to-
Ben Crump: (01:15:24)
I will say this, I know the family has said that they’re going to give back. That was the family’s decision that they want to be part of the solution. And I think that’s what the City leadership is saying, they want to be a part of the solution. Now, we don’t have all the answers, but we believe together we can solve all the problems. Chris?
Speaker 10: (01:15:50)
[inaudible 01:15:50] for Mayor Frey. Could you talk about the timing of this settlement now with jury selection going? Are you concerned about the trial? If you could talk about the timing of this.
Ben Crump: (01:16:00)
Speaker 16: (01:16:01)
We’re trying to be very respectful of the criminal proceedings that are now underway. And we’re in the middle of jury selection. I think it would be very wise for all of us to refrain from commenting on something that is ongoing.
Speaker 10: (01:16:17)
What does that say to the jury? I know that headlines are going to be generated day in and day out. This is a trial where they’re looking for an impartial jury [crosstalk 01:16:21] blocks away.
Ben Crump: (01:16:21)
I can take that question.
Speaker 10: (01:16:24)
Thanks Attorney Crump.
Ben Crump: (01:16:25)
Yes, sir. And I don’t know if Attorney Stewart or Attorney Romanucci will want to chime in, because we do this type of work all across the country. The one thing we know as Black people in America, that there is no guarantee that a police officer will be convicted for killing a Black person unjustly in our country. That’s what history has taught us.
Ben Crump: (01:16:53)
So we believe responsible leadership, not only like this here, but also like in Breonna Taylor, Walter Scott, and so many others, you want responsible leadership to step forward and say that we want to help shape what justice would look like and not just let it be a result of a discriminatory, racist criminal justice system that leaves Black bodies lying on the ground at the hands of the very people who were supposed to be trained to protect and serve them, and there’d be no accountability.
Ben Crump: (01:17:29)
So I am grateful that you have City leadership saying, “No, let’s have a better example than what America has given Black people.” Chris, I don’t know if you have anything?
Chris Stewart: (01:17:40)
Actually, in these situations, it can actually help the process move smoother. Without the civil case going, I could file something tomorrow on the civil case and you all find out all kinds of information that could impact the picking of this jury, the actual criminal trial. But now that that’s over and none of that type of information will be hindering the criminal trial in anyway. And so far, all of us have been watching like hawks, this process. The judge is doing a great job. The lawyers are doing a phenomenal job of figuring out bias, any views they have, this civil case doesn’t have anything to do with it.
Speaker 8: (01:18:16)
So, to put a fine point on it, why couldn’t this wait until after the trial concluded?
Chris Stewart: (01:18:20)
Well, justice really doesn’t really wait. It happens when it happens and it happened today. You know, we’re not going to delay justice because we’re worried about the outcome of a criminal trial that we all pray what outcome we want.
Speaker 9: (01:18:34)
I have a question for Mayor Frey. I would like to know, as being the significant other to a man named Justin Teigen who was brutally beat to death and thrown in the dumpster by the police here in Minnesota. We have hundreds of families that led up to George Floyd and the grievances have gone unmet. I would like to know what have you and other City officials and other people in this state done to address the grievances of the families that led up to George Floyd?
Jacob Frey: (01:19:18)
I’ll start out by saying, I’m so sorry. I can hear the pain in your voice just in that question alone. There are a number of reforms that have been instituted and I don’t think there’s any mayor in the country, any City council in the country that doesn’t wish that they had acted faster and more diligently. The truth is, is that we have a history of shortcomings. We need to acknowledge it, understand that, the impact that it has had on you, on your family and so many others and we need to do better. I really appreciate you and your willingness to stand up and ask.
Speaker 10: (01:19:59)
Mayor, can you talk about how the City pays for this settlement? We talked about a couple of years ago with the Damond settlement, 20 million, a once a decade settlement. Now we’re at 27 million. I’m curious for property taxpayers, how do we fund this settlement given the self-insured nature of the City, please?
Jacob Frey: (01:20:19)
Thank you for the question. I’m going to bring up our City coordinator, Mark Ruff, who can help answer.
Mark Ruff: (01:20:30)
Good afternoon. I’m Mark Ruff, the City Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis. You are correct in the question around the City self-insurance fund. So the City does not have outside insurance for tort liability for these types of cases. The City’s self-insurance fund is under pressure, not just from the tort liabilities, but also from the workers’ compensation associated with many of our first responders suffering during this time.
Mark Ruff: (01:20:59)
So the City has anticipated and started anticipating with the leadership of our council and the mayor some of these liabilities, knowing that we’ve been living through very difficult economic times as a country and certainly as a City. City’s down $40 million in sales tax, we’re down $30 million in parking revenues along with others. But the City has prioritized to making sure that we have enough in reserves, so while our self-insurance fund doesn’t have adequate money right now, we do have other reserves that we have set aside for these types of liabilities. Along with the liabilities of uncertainty is how quickly we come out of this recession.
Mark Ruff: (01:21:38)
But at this time we feel that we can confidently say, assuming that trends continue as they are, that this settlement alone will not result in property taxes increasing because of the judicious nature of saving the money that’s necessary to follow all of the liabilities that come out of an event like this.
Speaker 11: (01:22:07)
Ben Crump: (01:22:07)
Tony, you want a shot at taking that?
Tony Romanucci: (01:22:12)
So the question was, how that 500,000 is going to be overseen? The family, clearly, is going to direct how that money is going to be spent at 38th in Chicago. We’re going to take direction from the City council and from its vice president who’s a member, who represents that district. And certainly it’s going to be everything, every single dollar will be accounted for and will be transparent. Very likely through a not-for-profit that will be designated specifically and solely for the Black, Brown, minority and impoverished area of 38th and Chicago to help restore their needs to, maybe not entirely as it was before May 25th, but as close as we can get.
Ben Crump: (01:23:03)
And I will simply say it will be the family’s power of decision, even though Vice President Jenkins will give us advice and counsel, I think it’s important to know that whatever is given it will be the family that directs where it’s going. Yes, sir?
Speaker 12: (01:23:18)
Attorney Crump, could you address, there seems to be a concern in the Black community that once this settlement was announced there was a collective, “Oh no.” Will the focus shift from getting criminal justice for George Floyd with Derek Chauvin and the other officers involved, now that this historic significant payout is over with will the focus shift? Or will you guys continue to apply pressure to ensure that there is a conviction and a proper sentence with Derek Chauvin? This case is obviously happening about a mile away from here.
Ben Crump: (01:23:49)
The short answer is absolutely. The thought that Black people in America can’t get full justice is something that we rail against. You know, it’s not uncommon for our White brothers and sisters to get justice, not only in the civil arena, but also in the criminal arena. That’s why we have the 7th Amendment, as Tony has on his lapel, that’s what our forefathers conceived, that justice is for every American. And not just half justice, but whole justice.
Ben Crump: (01:24:29)
And the one thing I will simply say is this here, we have all the faith that Attorney General Keith Ellison and his prosecutors are going to zealously prosecute this case with or without fanfare. Because, that’s what the commitment is. My hope is that the public sees the reinstatement of the third degree murder charge as an example of their commitment to give a jury every option to hold Derek Chauvin criminally liable for killing George Floyd.
Ben Crump: (01:25:09)
Now I will tell you, as I’ve said in many interviews, we know in Black America our heart has been broken far too many times with something that would be not a hard decision if it was a White American that suffered what George Floyd suffered. And we know the whole playbook, they’re going to assassinate George Floyd’s character to try to deflect our attention away from the facts on that video tape. But it is my fervent belief that the evidence on that video tape can’t be minimized. Because George was tortured to death. And as I said earlier, it is the most egregious and shocking documentation of an American citizen being tortured by a police, that most people have ever seen in history.
Ben Crump: (01:26:17)
I don’t doubt they did far worse to our ancestors back in the 30s and 40s, but that wasn’t before the advent of technology. Where we saw this video, where you had the citizens pleading with the police officer. And so we are greatly committed that these officers should be held accountable. And we should not say just because a Black family gets a civil settlement that that means they can’t get criminal justice.
Ben Crump: (01:26:50)
Oftentimes, what we have to remember in the not so distant past, we got no form of justice. Thirty, thirty-five years ago they’d just kill black people and like we said, it was trivial. That it didn’t matter. And so I say to all of the activists, we have to continue to protest and demand justice for George Floyd, but we do it how George Floyd wanted us to do it. Peacefully, right Philonise? He sent the tweet out in Ferguson saying, “We need to peacefully protest for Michael Brown.” And so his family collectively say with the City, lets peacefully protest for George Floyd. Because that’s what George would want. Hope I answered your question.
Speaker 13: (01:27:38)
Quick question for the Floyd Family, Rodney, Brandon, Philonise. I appreciate your courage coming up and speaking earlier. I just want to ask you again, A, what does this money mean to you? I know you said it can’t fulfill the love you have for George and the loss you have. But what are you going to do with this money? And can you speak of the ambiguity of that, of how you get a large sum of money, but at the same time it can’t replace someone you love?
Ben Crump: (01:28:15)
As they come forward I will say, unfortunately our legal system doesn’t have anything else you can give to make up for the loss. And you know, respectfully, I’m not sure White families are asked these questions [crosstalk 01:28:38] It’s America, it’s what the constitution says is allowed. So, Philonise if you all want to say?
Philonise Floyd: (01:28:47)
No comment. No.
Ben Crump: (01:28:47)
Speaker 14: (01:28:48)
[inaudible 01:28:48] all the barbwire and all the barricades up to Mr. Mayor Jabob Frey. Thank you everybody for being out here, my [inaudible 01:28:53] the Floyd family. For all the barbed wire that’s out there, the [inaudible 01:29:04] and everything. We found it very [inaudible 01:29:07] for a nation of people to come around and see this type of behavior. Some people were basically wondering like, do you all know something that we do not know as being right here in the City of Minneapolis? And why you all are spending so much money barricading, putting barbwire out and things of that nature. That seems like it’s putting a world, a nation of people at ease, if you will?
Jacob Frey: (01:29:34)
Thank you for the question. I know the presence of some of the bolstering around the City infrastructure, City Hall as well as Hennepin County Government Center is unsettling to many. This was a joint process worked through both Hennepin County as well as the City. And to be very clear, we want to encourage peaceful protesting. We want to see people to express their First Amendment rights throughout our City. We view peaceful protesting as a critical part of the healing process. And it’s an essential part of the democratic process. We also saw what happened on January 6th. We experienced White supremacists come into our City in late May and early June of 2020 and they literally used peaceful protesters as cover to cause chaos and havoc. And we cannot have that again in any way, shape or form. Thank you.
Ben Crump: (01:30:29)
Two final questions. Yes ma’am? And Brandon saying make sure we get that sister who’ve been raising our hand.
Speaker 15: (01:30:36)
Thank you. Thank you, Brandon. Thank you to all of you for being here today and for answering our questions. My question goes to the family, but it also goes to you, Mayor. As a member of the Black community who houses my office right on 38th and Chicago, I look out my window and I can see the memorial of where George took his last breath. My thought is, and my question is, what is the City’s plan? And then, what is the family’s plan on Cup Foods?
Ben Crump: (01:31:11)
Mm. Good question.
Speaker 16: (01:31:14)
Thank you for the question. I think, we’re trying to be respectful of the family here today. That’s an issue I think we can address in another setting. But we do certainly understand the community’s concerns around that business. We’ve had a lot of conversations internally as the City about that. But to be respectful for this day and why we’re here, I think it would be good if we could follow up later on that. But thank you.
Ben Crump: (01:31:41)
And Brandon was saying we would welcome your suggestions. They live in the Houston so-
Speaker 15: (01:31:47)
Ben Crump: (01:31:48)
Yes ma’am. Yes. Ma’am?
Speaker 17: (01:31:50)
Mr. Crump, do you have any thoughts on the jury selected so far?
Ben Crump: (01:31:56)
Only the fact that you want a jury that will be fair and impartial, and that will follow the law as instructed by the judge based on the evidence. And obviously, you want a jury who would respect George Floyd and not devalue him because he was a Black man.
Nekima Levy-Armstrong: (01:32:22)
I’m a civil rights attorney and an activist. How’re you doing, Ben. One, my heart goes out to the family of George Floyd. You all did not deserve what happened. George Floyd didn’t deserve what happened. So we’re here being respectful. Some of us who are African-American who are also activists. But we do have questions about some of the promises that have been made by the City, because before George Floyd was killed, we went to City hall, we took to the streets, we shut things down to prevent that type of horrible incident from happening.
Nekima Levy-Armstrong: (01:33:01)
We hear a lot of promises from the people on stage with you all, crying and saying what they’re going to do or what they wished they had done or what they will do. But we have not seen that consistency. We haven’t seen that track record. We haven’t seen a real commitment to justice and transforming the system of policing. So we want to know that as you all are able to go back to your respective places, we’ll still be here holding it down, we love you. We want to know from City leaders though, what tangible actions will you take next? What is the timeline? And how will the community know that you are following through on the promises that you have made to this family, to these attorneys and to the world who was watching this press conference?
Ben Crump: (01:33:48)
Thank you for that question. I’m going to defer it to the City, but we welcome you helping us hold them accountable. Because they’re elected officials and Black people have to… Like so many of our other citizens say, “No, no, you have to be accountable to us.” And I think a lot has been said, and we want to say in the name of George Floyd that we’d respectfully follow up. So I welcomed that question and any assistance to work with these leaders.
Speaker 16: (01:34:23)
Nekima, thank you for the question. I think it’s fair to say, we all know that there’s still a lot of work ahead. And as you know, from some of the meetings that my office has had with the Racial Justice Network, that we’re organizing that work. We’re trying to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty and there’s a lot to do.
Speaker 16: (01:34:42)
And I’m sure in the coming months, we can continue to speak to what you’re asking for. But again, I think it’s been a long day, certainly for the family. And we want to be respectful because I know there’s also travel involved and they also have some other plans that they’d like to do before they leave town today. So, thanks.
Ben Crump: (01:35:13)
Thank you all very much. Anything else? Philonise, anybody? All right. Okay. Thank you all very much. God bless you and continue to pray for the family.
Philonise Floyd: (01:35:19)
Again, like Ben just said, thank you all so much because we’re here together as a team and we’re turning our purpose, our pain into purpose. Thank you all so much. [crosstalk 01:35:36]