More than a thousand protestors who took to the streets during the George Floyd demonstrations in 2020 reportedly received a $13.7 million settlement from New York City on Wednesday.
With its sizable settlement, the city has resolved a significant class-action lawsuit brought in Manhattan federal court that alleged demonstrators’ civil rights were violated by police.
In the week after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody at the end of May, there were 18 rallies that saw conflicts between protestors and police. These events were the subject of the lawsuit.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs said that protesters who qualify for a settlement can earn $9,950 in compensation.
While some of the protestors who are entitled to compensation were detained by police, their complaint alleged that other demonstrators’ First Amendment rights were violated by police even though they were not detained.
A compensation will not be given to protesters who were detained on violent offenses such as trespassing, property destruction, assault on a police officer, arson, or possession of firearms.
Those who prevented police from detaining others may also be disqualified.
A court must still approve the agreement. According to reports, it would be one of the most costly settlements ever for mass arrests.
Left-leaning organization the National Lawyers Guild, representing the plaintiffs, charged the NYPD of breaching the First Amendment rights of the demonstrators by using excessive force and conducting unauthorized arrests.