(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) New York City officials agreed to pay at least $20,000 to individual protestors who participated in the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots in the Bronx, claiming police beat them, doused them with pepper spray and violated their right to protest.
Over 300 protestors detained after a June protest in the Mott Haven neighborhood will receive compensation from the city, making the total cost of the settlement at least $7 million.
The lawsuit claimed protesters faced arrest and charges “without probable cause and subjected… to excessive force, as part of a planned police action involving some of the most senior members of the NYPD.”
According to the Daily Caller, police contained protestors using a tactic called “kettling,” which involves containing people in small confinements and not allowing them to leave.
The suit claims that police restrained the 320 protestors with zip ties, whacked with batons and sprayed with pepper spray.
“The Mott Haven protest really shocked the conscience when it happened. These protesters were kettled. Then the police moved in with extreme brutality that was totally uncalled for and unnecessary,” Ali Frick, acting attorney for the protestors, said.
One of the protestors, Henry Wood, said the settlement was a relief but his trauma would never totally heal.
“The violence unleashed upon us that night was intentional, unwarranted and will be with me for the rest of my life,” Wood said. “What the NYPD did, aided by the political powers of New York City, was an extreme abuse of power.”
Former Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, defended the police at the time, arguing that the protesters were in violation of curfew and and ransacking the Bronx neighborhood.
“There comes a point where enough is enough,” he said.
The NYPD released a statement calling the event a “challenging moment,” and announced changes in departmental policy for handling large demonstrations.