NYC to Pay BLM Protesters $13 Mil in ‘Mass Arrests’ Settlement

NYC to Pay BLM Protesters $13 Mil in ‘Mass Arrests’ Settlement

July 20, 2023

Fox News reports that New York City will give more than $13 million to more than 1,000 protesters arrested or interacting with police during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests following a civil rights lawsuit settlement filed in Manhattan federal court Wednesday.

Experts said the settlement, which allows the city to avoid a trial, would be among the most expensive payouts ever for mass arrests. It still needs to be approved by a judge before it is finalized.

The lawsuit focused on 18 protests that erupted in New York City in the week following George Floyd’s death in May. According to attorneys for the plaintiffs, eligible persons can receive $9,950 in compensation.

Protests and riots following the 2020 killing of Floyd resulted in at least 18 deaths, $350 million worth of property damage in the Minneapolis area, and nearly $2 billion nationwide. About 10,000 people were arrested in the span of a few days.

Several other cities across the U.S. are negotiating their own settlements concerning officers’ handling of protesters who spilled into the streets, with some causing fires, throwing objects, breaking windows and damaging buildings.

Protesters arrested in connection with violence – those arrested on charges including trespassing, property destruction, assaulting an officer, arson or weapons possession – will be excluded from the settlement. Those seen on video blocking police from making arrests may also be ineligible.

Attorneys with the National Lawyers Guild, representing the plaintiffs in New York, accused these NYPD leaders of depriving protesters of their First Amendment rights through brutal tactics and unlawful arrests.

Attorneys for the city maintained police officers were responding to a chaotic and unprecedented situation and highlighted unruly protests where police vehicles were set on fire and officers pelted with rocks and plastic bottles. City attorneys said there was no systematic effort to deprive people of their right to protest.

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