(PatriotWise.com) — Last week, the city of New York reached a settlement to pay over $13 million in a lawsuit brought on behalf of about 1,300 rioters who were either arrested or subjected to the use of force during the riots in the summer of 2020, the Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit, which named retired NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea and former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as other NYPD officials, focused on 18 of the riots that erupted in New York after the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May 2020.
If approved by a judge, the settlement would mean the people arrested or beaten by NYPD officers would be eligible for a payment of $9,950 in compensation, with some exceptions, making it among the highest payout ever awarded in a lawsuit on mass arrests.
The National Lawyers Guild attorneys who represented the plaintiffs in the case accused the NYPD of depriving the rioters of their First Amendment rights through a campaign of unlawful arrests and brutality.
Attorneys for the city argued that the NYPD was responding to an unprecedented and chaotic situation that included officers being assaulted and police vehicles set on fire.
New York City invoked qualified immunity which protects law enforcement from lawsuits stemming from the lawful actions performed in the line of duty. It argued that it was within the NYPD’s rights to arrest legal observers and medics.
In some of the riots, NYPD officers used the crowd control method known as “kettling,” in which rioters were corralled into tight spaces while police deployed pepper spray and batons to make arrests.
Those excluded from the settlement include the rioters arrested on charges of assaulting an officer, arson, trespassing, property destruction, or weapons possession. Additionally, those captured on video blocking officers from making arrests will also be excluded from the settlement.
Under the agreement, neither the NYPD nor the city will have to admit wrongdoing.
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