New York Civil Rights & Criminal Defense Lawyers

NYC to pay 1,300 people wrongfully arrested, beaten during 2020

The killing of George Floyd by a police officer in 2020 sparked a wave of racial injustice protests across America. Many people took part in these demonstrations to speak against the brutal actions of police officers. In response, cities deployed law enforcement to quell these protests. But some of these officers engaged in the very violence denounced by the protests through unlawful arrests and beatings.

However, justice was served last week when New York City agreed to pay over $13 million to settle a civil rights class action brought by protesters. The lawsuit focused on 18 protests during the summer of 2020, where about 1,300 activists were either wrongfully arrested or beaten by NYPD officers.

Reports say that during several of the demonstrations, officers used a tactic called “kettling.” The officers would corral peaceful protesters into a tight space before beating them with batons and making mass arrests.

Demonstrators arrested on specific charges will be excluded from the settlement. These charges include assaulting an officer, arson, property destruction, trespassing and weapons possession. In addition, protesters who obstructed police from making arrests may also be ineligible to receive a part of the settlement.

Suing for civil rights violations

If you are the victim of police brutality such as in the case above, you can file your own lawsuit against the officers involved. Federal law has a “Police Misconduct Provision,” which makes it unlawful for police to deprive the rights of persons through acts like discriminatory harassment, excessive force, false arrests, unlawful stops and so on.

When you sue police officers for brutality and misconduct, you may be able to seek injunctive relief on top of monetary compensation. This type of relief involves administrative changes to address the misconduct, such as policy changes.

Consider consulting a legal professional to determine if you have a case for civil rights violations and understand which types of relief you’re entitled to.




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