City of Minneapolis reaches $27M settlement with George Floyd's family

George Floyd and Derek Chauvin

The city of Minneapolis has reached a $27 million settlement with George Floyd's family just weeks before the trial is scheduled to begin for the former officer charged with murder in his death.

The City Council unanimously approved the settlement Friday after adding the matter to its agenda for a closed session. The settlement includes a $500,000 contribution from Floyd's family to the community at the intersection of 38th and Chicago Avenue — now widely known as George Floyd Square.

Benjamin Crump and other attorneys representing Floyd's family members are scheduled to hold a news conference Friday afternoon where they will be joined by Mayor Jacob Frey and City Council members.

Crump said it was the largest pretrial civil rights settlement ever, and "sends a powerful message that Black lives do matter and police brutality against people of color must end."

"The city needs to exhibit responsible leadership in the face of the horrific tragedy that really was a watershed moment for America," Crump told NBC News in an interview Friday.

In a statement Friday, one of Floyd's sisters, Bridgett Floyd, said: "On behalf of all of my family members, I am pleased that this part of our tragic journey to justice for my brother George is resolved."

She said that while she was unable to be with her family for the official announcement of the settlement they had reached with the city, she is with them in spirit.

Floyd's family filed a federal lawsuit in July against the city and the four officers involved in the arrest that led to his death. The lawsuit took issue with neck restraints and police policies and training, among other things. It sought compensatory and special damages in an amount to be determined by a jury.

The first former officer set to stand trial, Derek Chauvin, was recorded kneeling on Floyd's neck for about nine minutes on May 25, while a handcuffed Floyd repeatedly said, "I can't breathe" and called out for his mother.

Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter, as well as third-degree murder. Jury selection is underway in his trial. Six of 12 jurors have been seated as of Friday morning.

Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill, who is overseeing the trial, on Thursday granted prosecutors' request to reinstate a third-degree murder charge. He had rejected the charge last fall on the grounds it was not warranted by the circumstances of Floyd's death. But an appellate court ruling last month in an unrelated case established new grounds.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered Cahill to reconsider whether to add the third-degree murder charge a week ago. Chauvin's attorney, Eric Nelson, appealed that ruling, but the state Supreme Court said this week it would not intervene.

The three other officers involved — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. They are expected to go to trial in August. All four officers were fired the day after Floyd's death.



Interest in Homeownership Expected to ‘Skyrocket’ Among Hispanic Americans

Between now and 2040, researchers expect a "skyrocketing" interest in homeownership among Hispanic Americans. In fact, researchers predict that the Hispanic population is the only racial or ethnic group that will experience an increased homeownership rate during this future phase.

study by the Urban Institute takes a closer look at how the housing market can best support their needs.

By 2040, say research associates Lauri Goodman and Jun Zhu, 70% of new homeowners will be Hispanic Americans.

"To maintain a high level of homeownership, the mortgage and homebuilding ecosystem will need to evolve in a way that breaks down barriers and meets the needs of Hispanic homebuyers," the authors noted.

The authors project that, with no change in policies, the overall homeownership rate will drop from 65% to 62% between 2020 and 2040. Non-Hispanic White homeownership will dip 73% to 71%, the Black homeownership rate will drop 42% to 41%, and the homeownership rate for other households (mostly Asian households but includes other groups, such as Pacific Islander households), they expect, will drop from 58% to 57%.

And the rise among this demographic will be led by young Hispanic households.

"In 1990, just 7.3% of young households (headed by someone younger than 65) were Hispanic. By 2020, that had more than doubled to 16.4 percent. We project that this share will continue to increase in the next two decades, and that by 2040, more than 20 percent of young households will be Hispanic—triple the share in 1990."

That's likely because the Hispanic population is much younger than other racial groups, according to the institute.

This forecast is based on pre-pandemic data, so the researchers add that some of the barriers to homeownership among Hispanic Americans—including less income and wealth, lower credit scores, larger families, and more multigenerational families than White counterparts—have been exacerbated by fallout from COVID-19. The fact is that barriers remain, they say, so here are a few policy changes and re-focuses at a policymaking level that the Urban Institute researchers recommend:

  1. Expand the use of down payment assistance. "Hispanic homebuyers’ lower incomes, lower net worth, and lower parental wealth (and potential gifts or inheritance) makes affording a down payment challenging. But programs in every state offer assistance. There is also significant misinformation about the size of the down payment needed to buy a home. Accordingly, increasing the visibility of and opportunities for housing counseling and financial education about down payment assistance and the basic facts about down payments could support the growth in Hispanic homeownership."
  2. Expand access to mortgage credit. "To truly capture the creditworthiness of future Hispanic borrowers, the housing industry must rethink how it qualifies borrowers for mortgages, update current credit scoring models, take into account additional data such as on-time rental payments, reexamine how it takes a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio into account, and more fully count the income of those who are self-employed or have gig-economy income."
  3. Support the introduction of more affordable housing into the market. "Greater access to mortgages and down payments will do little to alleviate the barriers to homeownership if the industry fails to address the low supply of affordable housing.

"If federal, state, and local policymakers act now," concluded the researchers, "they can significantly reduce these barriers and ensure continued robust growth in Hispanic homeownership."



Rush Limbaugh, Right-Wing Radio Host, Dies at 70

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative firebrand radio host who was a pillar of right-wing media in the U.S. for more than 30 years, died on Wednesday after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 70.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced the news on his radio show.

Limbaugh disclosed the severity of his illness to listeners of his syndicated “The Rush Limbaugh Show” in February 2020 when he took several days off to receive treatment. That same month he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Donald Trump.

Limbaugh wielded enormous influence in politics. He was beloved by conservatives and reviled by liberals. He contributed to the coarsening of public discourse by referring to prominent women as “femi-Nazis” and by belittling those who disagreed with him. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Limbaugh repeatedly referred to Barack Obama as the “affirmative-action candidate.”

Limbaugh was one of the most popular personalities on radio and one of the most well paid. In 2008, he signed an eight-year deal with Premiere Networks valued at $400 million. His audience at his peak was estimated at about 25 million a week.

Limbaugh was born Jan. 12, 1951, in Cape Girardeau, Mo., to a prominent family. Limbaugh reportedly told his father, an attorney, that he wanted to be radio host at the age of 8. In high school he worked as a disc jockey for a local radio station owned by his father.

He attended Southern Missouri State University, but left after a year to try his hand at radio. He worked at ABC-owned radio station KQV in Pittsburgh. He later moved to Kansas City to join the Royals baseball team as director of group ticket sales, and later advanced to director of sales and special events.

In 1983, Limbaugh was back in radio as a commentator on Kansas City’s KMBZ. He moved to Sacramento, Calif., the following year and landed a daytime talk show on KFBK. The show’s ratings took off, and Limbaugh began getting national attention. He moved to New York and signed his first syndication deal with ABC Radio Networks in 1988.

Limbaugh was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1993. He penned a number of bestselling books including 1992’s “The Way Things Ought to Be” and 1993’s “See, I Told You So” and the children’s book series “The Adventures of Rush Revere.”

Limbaugh was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame in 1998.

Limbaugh was married four times. His survivors include his wife, Kathryn.



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