April 15th 2023.
The Minneapolis City Council has recently reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit filed by Jonh Pope Jr. and Zoya Code, two victims of the now-former police officer Derek Chauvin, with an $8.9 million payment. Bob Bennett, the attorney for Pope and Code, noted that officers failed to report Chauvin’s illegal actions and police officials allowed him to continue policing communities even after they had evidence of misconduct. Minneapolis’s Mayor Jacob Frey has apologised for the tragedy of George Floyd’s death, which was caused by Chauvin’s actions, and for the failure of the Minneapolis Police Department to take action against Chauvin in 2017, when allegations of misconduct first arose. Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara also commented on the case, calling Chauvin’s actions a “disgrace to the badge” and an “embarrassment to what is truly a very noble profession.”
Pope and Code were both arrested in 2017, with Code accused of attempting to strangle her mother with an extension cord and Pope, then 14, subjected to excessive force, as reported by CBS. The death of George Floyd in May 2020, caused by Chauvin’s knee on his neck for more than nine minutes, sparked a wave of national outrage. Chauvin was sentenced to 252 months in prison, while Kueng and Thao, the two other officers involved in the murder of Floyd, received 31/2 years in prison.
The settlement of the lawsuit by Jonh Pope Jr. and Zoya Code shows that Minneapolis is taking responsibility for their failure to take action against Derek Chauvin in 2017. This is a positive step towards justice, as it acknowledges the pain and suffering of the victims and their families.
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