NEW YORK — City officials have agreed to pay an additional $13.7 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit over how protesters were treated during Black Lives Matter you protest
Experts say the settlement is one of the most expensive in history.
On Thursday, CBS New York heard from the plaintiffs, who said they were beaten and arrested during the George Floyd The 2020 protests, the movement swept New York City and the nation that summer, as activists took to the streets to protest the violence.
But they say they encountered more violence.
Barbara Ross said she was riding her bike during a peaceful protest when a police van drove by.
“She was coming right at me, she quickly opened the door and grabbed my handlebars, and that blew me away because she was going fast,” Ross said.
Ross said he broke his foot in that fall.
Dara Pluchino said she was at a peaceful protest in the Bronx,.
“So when the curfew came, there were mass arrests and violence where the police were using pepper spray,” Pluchino said.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of more than 1,300 people, each of whom is likely to receive nearly $10,000 once the settlement is approved by a judge.
The plaintiffs joined lawyers for a news conference in Foley Square on Thursday.
“Today’s settlement is historic and I am very proud that it will bring some measure of justice to the nearly 1,400 people who took to the streets and put their bodies on the line against police brutality,” said attorney Wylie Stecklow.
“It’s saying to the city, ‘We made a mistake.’ They may not say it on paper, but they made a mistake, because they wouldn’t be paying that money if they didn’t,” Ross said.
The plaintiffs and attorneys in the case say the settlement is just the beginning. They believe the NYPD needs deep operational and cultural reform.
“The idea that we keep coming back, year after year, protest after protest, to continue to sue the city for the NYPD’s unconstitutional practices is absolutely disgraceful,” said attorney David Rankin.
The city’s Law Department told CBS New York in a statement: “The city and the NYPD remain committed to ensuring that the public is safe and that people’s right to peaceful expression is protected. The NYPD has improved numerous practices to address the challenges it faced in protests during the pandemic. This settlement was in the best interest of all parties.”
There are other demands related to the 2020 protests..