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NYC becomes latest city to pay millions to George Floyd protesters

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New York City has agreed to pay more than $13 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of approximately 1,300 people who were arrested, sometimes forcefully, during demonstrations that followed the murder of George Floyd in 2020. This is the latest occurrence of racial injustice protesters in big cities receiving historic payouts.

In the NYC settlement, each person would be eligible for about $10,000 in compensation. That would be the largest payout ever awarded in a lawsuit over mass arrests, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Attorneys for New York City settled the lawsuit to avoid potentially paying even more money if the case went to court, but they maintain the New York Police Department was acting within its rights as officers made arrests.

NYC to pay $13 million to George Floyd protesters
Source: AP Images

Attorneys for the city called it an unprecedented situation where officers were on the front lines to defend a city on fire as vandalism, looting and attacks on police were taking place.

But the attorneys for the protesters argued police went too far, claiming demonstrators were corralled in tight spaces, beaten with batons and pepper-sprayed.

New York City’s settlement comes just months after the City of Philadelphia paid more than $9 million to settle with George Floyd protesters in the city.

Similar lawsuits are still pending across other major U.S. cities.

Chauvin asks U.S. Supreme Court to review conviction

The murder of George Floyd on May 24, 2020, put a national spotlight on police practices after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck during an arrest.

The cause of death was one of controversy until a jury put it to rest convicting Chauvin of second-degree murder.

chauvin sentence Floyd murder
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin listens to the judge announce his sentence of twenty two and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd during Chauvin’s sentencing hearing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S. June 25, 2021 in a still image from video. Source: Pool via Reuters.

Attorneys for Chauvin announced this week the former officer will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review his conviction hoping to overturn his 22-year sentence after the state’s Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

His attorney William Mohrmann said one of the issues on which they appealed was whether holding the proceedings in Minneapolis in 2021 deprived Chauvin the right to a fair trial. He mentioned pretrial publicity and there being concerns for violence in the event of an acquittal.

“This criminal trial generated the most amount of pretrial publicity in history,” Morhmann said. “More concerning are the riots which occurred after George Floyd’s death (and) led the jurors to all express concerns for their safety in the event they acquitted Mr. Chauvin – safety concerns which were fully evidenced by surrounding the courthouse in barbed wire and National Guard troops during the trial and deploying the National Guard throughout Minneapolis prior to jury deliberations.”

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