Thursday 2 March 2023

NYC to pay up to $6 million to George Floyd protesters allegedly boxed in, beaten by police

 New York City recently agreed to shell out up to $6 million to protesters who were allegedly boxed in or beaten by cops during a 2020 George Floyd protest in Mott Haven, according to a legal settlement, the New York Times reported.

If a federal judge signs off on the settlement, the more than 300 protesters will receive approximately $21,500 each, one of the highest amounts awarded per person in a class-action case involving mass arrests.

Following George Floyd's death in the summer of 2020, protesters and looters destroyed several businesses in Manhattan. Demonstrators shattered storefronts and robbed goods from Macy's, Chanel, Adidas, Nike, Dolce & Gabbana, and local drugstores.

In early June, following several destructive and costly protests, former Mayor Bill de Blasio enacted an 8 p.m. curfew to deter looters.

Approximately 10 minutes after 8 p.m. on June 4, 2020, in a Bronx neighborhood, New York Police Department officers began "kettling," or boxing in, activists protesting the death of Floyd, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint claimed that roughly 300 protesters were gathered peacefully when police started restraining them with zip ties, spraying them with pepper spray, and beating them with batons.

Samira Sierra, 31, one of the protesters who filed the lawsuit against the city, said in a statement, "We had every right to protest, yet, the City of New York made an explicit statement that day that the people of the Bronx are at will to be terrorized."

"Many protesters were left injured and bleeding. Some protesters fainted, or lost consciousness and went into convulsions," the lawsuit alleged.

According to one of the protesters' lawyers, Rob Rickner, many of the cases brought against the demonstrators were later dismissed.

Approximately 330 individuals are eligible to receive settlement payments; however, as many as 90 protesters have already settled with the city in separate lawsuits.

The NYPD said in a statement, "Two-and-a-half years after the protests of 2020, much of the NYPD's policies and training for policing large-scale demonstrations have been re-envisioned based on the findings of the department's own, self-initiated analyses and on the recommendations from three outside agencies who carefully investigated that period."

"The NYPD remains committed to continually improving its practices in every way possible," the department added.

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