New York City Agrees to $13 Million Settlement to Protestors Who Were Victims of Police in 2020 George Floyd Protests


New York City officials recently announced that they’ll be paying over $13 million in a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of approximately 1,300 people who were harassed by the police during the protests against racial injustice in 2020. 

Filed in court on Wednesday, the lawsuit is now the largest settlement to be paid to protesters in the United States. According to the court release, the city, specifically the defendants which include Mayor Bill de Blasio and the NYPD, will be paying approximately $9,950 to each protester that was arrested by the police department. 

The settlement will award the protesters that were arrested in 18 of the protests that were held from May 28 to June 4, 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis. 

Per the court documents, each of the protestors involved in the settlement were victims of police misconduct through the NYPD’s usage of excessive force, pepper spray, batons and other chemicals. The NYPD also used a crowd-control technique known as “kettling” against the protestors. Kettling was defined as when police forced the protestors into a single space to entrap them. 

Although the settlement may be approved by a judge in the coming weeks, it could take up to months for the protestors to receive their money, according to attorneys. 

“From the million march in the late 90’s, to RNC in 2004, Occupy Wall Street in 2011-12 and into the summer 2020 George Floyd BLM protests, NYPD’s suppression of dissent has continued through numerous mayoral administrations,” said one of the attorneys on the case, Wylie Stecklow, per a statement. “While the arc of the moral universe is indeed long, sometimes it needs reform to bend towards justice.”

The new settlement isn’t the first lawsuit that New York City has been faced with following the 2020 protests for George Floyd and against police brutality. 

In March of this year, the city already agreed to pay a settlement to protestors that were also harassed by the police in the demonstrations. 

Approved by a federal judge, the case was filed by attorneys Rob Rickner and Ali Frick. As part of the multimillion dollar settlement, five out of 300 protestors were provided with monetary compensation following the violence inflicted by the police onto them during a peaceful protest on June 4.

Despite the settlements, the attorneys of the latest case against New York City maintain that more has to be done by the officials.

“Requiring taxpayers to foot bills like this for governmental misconduct is meant to motivate them, and their elected officials, to make big changes in police policies, training, and oversight,”said attorney Gideon Orion Oliver per a statement. “None of that happens here in New York City, where the Mayor’s support of police is as unequivocal as the city’s resistance to transparency and discipline around police misconduct.”

“Since New Yorkers can’t trust our city government to guarantee those things, in addition to monetary compensation for those injured by police, we must demand real, public transparency, investigations, discipline, and radical change,” he added.

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