New York City has agreed to pay millions of dollars to hundreds of protestors who were subjected to arrests and excessive force and who were corralled by police during a George Floyd protest in 2020.
On Tuesday (February 28), a proposed settlement was filed in federal court to compensate 320 people who participated in a June 4, 2020 protest in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx borough, according to court documents, per NBC News.
If the proposed settlement is approved by the court, eligible class-action members will receive $21,500 each from the city. An additional $2,500 will be awarded to each person who received a desk appearance ticket.
The two plaintiffs named in the case will also receive another $21,500 as a “service award.”
“The settlement, in our view, reflects an acknowledgment by the city that the NYPD’s actions in Mott Haven on June 4 were tragically wrong,” Joshua Moskovitz, attorney for the protesters, said Wednesday (March 1).
The protestor’s suit alleged that the NYPD “arrested and charged the protestors without probable cause and subjected them to excessive force, as part of a planned police action involving some of the most senior members of the NYPD.”
Protestors who gathered in Mott Haven were encircled and corralled by police wearing riot gear and riding bikes, which is a controversial practice known as “kettling.”
“The NYPD in an operation planned by the highest levels of police officials kettled protesters on East 136th Street between Brook Avenue and Brown Place and unleashed a brutal assault on more than 300 people, who were injured, arrested, and detained for hours,” attorneys for the protesters said in a statement.
According to a New York City Police Department spokesperson, the 2020 protests were a “challenging moment for the department as officers who themselves were suffering under the strains of a global pandemic did their utmost to help facilitate people’s rights to peaceful expression all while addressing acts of lawlessness including wide-scale rioting, mass chaos, violence, and destruction.”
The department said it has made changes to its policies and training for large-scale demonstrations following the Floyd protests.
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