New York City has reached a deal with hundreds of George Floyd protesters met with unlawful tactics by local police in 2020.
According to CNN, the city agreed to pay over $13 million in a proposed settlement. On Wednesday (July 19), the agreement was filed in a Manhattan federal court. The terms come after a class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of nearly 1,380 protesters arrested by the New York City Police Department at 18 demonstrations throughout the city between May and June 2020. Eligible individuals will be compensated $9,950 each if a judge approves the deal.
Per the suit, authorities were accused of “corralling protesters into spaces where they could not escape, beating protesters with batons and fists, throwing [demonstrators] to the ground, using pepper spray indiscriminately, and ultimately arresting many of the protesters without lawful justification and without fair warning.” In 2020, hundreds gathered nationwide on the streets of local cities and towns to stand against police brutality and racial injustice. Floyd’s killing at the hands of former cop Derek Chauvin sparked the protests and reignited the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“Protesters were physically restrained with flex-cuffs in such a manner that caused them unnecessary pain and suffering and, in some cases, possible serious and long-term nerve damage,” the suit alleged. It also claimed several demonstrators “were subjected to lengthy and unnecessary arrest processing that put them in dangerously close quarters, all in the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic.”
When asked about the settlement, NYPD’s Deputy Chief of Staff Stefan Mooklal called it the “best interests of all parties.” “The city and NYPD remain committed to ensuring the public is safe, and people’s right to peaceful expression is protected. The NYPD has improved numerous practices to address the challenges it faced at protests during the pandemic,” he said.