George Floyd’s family has filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the four police officers charged in his death.
They allege the officers violated Mr Floyd’s rights when they restrained him and that the city allowed a culture of excessive force, racism and impunity to flourish in its police force.
The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Minnesota, was announced by Ben Crump and other lawyers representing Mr Floyd’s family members.
“This complaint shows what we have said all along, that Mr Floyd died because the weight of the entire Minneapolis Police Department was on his neck,” Mr Crump said in a statement.
“The city of Minneapolis has a history of policies, procedures and deliberate indifference that violates the rights of arrestees, particularly black men, and highlights the need for officer training and discipline.”
Mr Crump said the action seeks to set a precedent “that makes it financially prohibitive for police to wrongfully kill marginalised people – especially black people – in the future.”
Mr Floyd died on May 25 after Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, pressed his knee against his neck for nearly eight minutes as Mr Floyd said he could not breathe.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Three other officers at the scene – Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Kueng – are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter.
All four officers were fired the day after Mr Floyd’s death, which set off protests that spread around the world.
His death also sparked calls to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department and replace it with a new public safety department.
A majority of city council members support the move, saying the department has a long history and culture of brutality that has resisted change.
A public hearing is planned later on Wednesday on the proposal, which requires a change in the city’s charter that could go to voters in November.
The lawsuit comes on the same day that a court allowed public viewing by appointment of video from the body cameras of Lane and Kueng.
A coalition of news organisations and lawyers for Lane and Kueng have been advocating to make the videos public, saying they would provide a more complete picture of what happened when Mr Floyd was taken into custody.
The judge has not said why he is not allowing the video to be disseminated more widely.
According to documents in state probate court, Mr Floyd is survived by 11 known heirs, including five children and six siblings.
They live in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and New York.
All but one of Floyd’s children are adults.
He has no living parents or grandparents.