New York has agreed to pay millions to protesters arrested during a June 2020 protest in the Bronx over the killing of George Floyd, according to a tentative settlement agreement filed on Tuesday.
The city would pay at least $21,500 to each protester who was “detained, arrested, and/or subjected to force by police officers” and an additional $21,500 to the five demonstrators named in the class-action lawsuit, under the proposed resolution.
Attorneys for the protesters identified about 320 people who could qualify for the payout, although some have already settled with the city and would not be able to participate, they noted.
The settlement is expected to cost the city between $4 million and $6 million, on top of which it would also be responsible for about $2.5 million in legal fees.
The lawsuit — which was brought against the city, former Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), former Police Chief Terence Monahan and several other members of the New York Police Department — accused the police force of planning in advance “an operation to encircle and seize, or ‘kettle,'” protesters at the June 4, 2020, march.
“The march was orderly and peaceful. There were no instances of violence, no confrontations with police or anyone else, and no harm to property,” said the class-action complaint, which was filed in September after two separate lawsuits were merged.
After encircling the group, police officers allegedly pepper-sprayed and struck protesters with batons before arresting them, according to the complaint.
“The protesters had committed no acts of violence or resistance that would justify this excessive and unreasonable use of force,” the complaint added. “Many people were left injured and bleeding. Some fainted or lost consciousness and went into convulsions.”
Under the settlement agreement, New York City and the other defendants would not admit to any of the allegations in the suit.
“Defendants deny any and all liability and deny that they had or have a policy, or engaged in or currently engage in a pattern or practice, that deprived persons of their rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of New York,” the agreement noted.