New York City will pay 300 Black Lives Matter protesters $21,500 each in a settlement over their treatment by police during the George Floyd riots.
The protesters claim that they were wrongfully kettled, zip-tied, hit with batons and pepper-sprayed by officers from the NYPD on June 4, 2020.
Protesters who were not kettled and arrested but given a Desk Appearance ticket will be compensated with $2,500 to each and all “reasonable attorneys fees and costs.” The lawyers are seeking an additional $2.5 million to cover those fees
The settlement will cost the city between four and six million dollars.
According to a report from the Daily Mail, “lawyers said that while around 330 people were eligible to receive the payments, as many as 90 have already settled with the city in separate complaints.”
The Mail reports that on the night of the incident, “protesters were marching down the Mott Haven section of the Bronx on June 4, 2020, when police surrounded them on 136th Street between 7 pm and 7.30 pm — ahead of a citywide curfew at 8 pm.”
“A report at the time said that cops heaved their bikes into protesters, while another group of officers emerged at the top of the street and started charging down the hill, pushing protesters into the advancing group of bike cops,” the report continues. “Soon, the lawsuit says, ‘police indiscriminately struck protesters with batons, threw them to the ground and sprayed them with a chemical agent.'”
The lawsuit claims that Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Police Chief Terence Monahan had directly approved of the tactics used on the demonstrators because they wanted to “suppress the protests with well-orchestrated operations corralling and violently arresting the protesters.”
“Many protesters were left injured and bleeding. Some protesters fainted, or lost consciousness and went into convulsions,” the lawsuit states.
Lawyers representing the activists claimed that police and city officials violated their First Amendment right to freedom of expression and their Fourteenth Amendment rights to equal protection of the laws. They also alleged false arrest; assault and battery; denial of medical care; infliction of emotional distress; negligent hiring, training and supervision; and excessive detention.
The settlement was filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday and needs to be approved by a judge before it is made official.