US cities to pay record $80m to people injured in 2020 racial justice protests

US cities to pay record $80m to people injured in 2020 racial justice protests

An excerpt from The Guardian. To read the entire article, click here.

Cities across the US have agreed to pay out a total of more than $80m in settlements to protesters injured by police during 2020 racial justice protests – a figure experts believe is unprecedented and will rise further as many lawsuits are still playing out.

The brutal murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers on 25 May 2020 sparked the largest nationwide demonstrations since the civil rights era, as upwards of 26 million people gathered to protest racism and police brutality.

But, three years later, at least 19 US cities will pay more than $80m total to protesters who sustained various injuries as a result of law enforcement action, ranging from being teargassed to being shot with projectiles, and have filed dozens of civil lawsuits.


“There are a lot of pending cases,” said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Center for Protest Law and Litigation. “I think it’s reasonable to expect that numbers will eclipse past numbers,” she said.

Verheyden-Hilliard noted that mass settlements were paid out for police violence experienced during the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 and 2012 and for police using excessive force during anti-globalization protests in the early 2000s. Then came 2020.

“We had millions of people flowing into the street to stand against racist police violence. And in city after city and small town after small town, law enforcement was deployed to violently repress demonstrators,” Verheyden-Hilliard said.